Q&A: Swimmers dive into their first NYU season

After over a month of practice and their first win, three first-year swimmers discuss the team’s culture and the season ahead.

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Interviews with members of the NYU swim team. (Courtesy of NYU Athletics)

Ethan Rendon, Staff Writer

First-year swimmers — Nicole Ranile, Emery Muller and Christopher Mina — of NYU’s Swimming & Diving team reflect on the start of their first season, the differences in training from high school and their first meet of their NYU careers, which was against Rowan University on Saturday, Oct. 22.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity. 

WSN: Who are the leaders on the team, and what would you say makes them effective?

Ranile: Seniors Gaby Torres and Jess Flynn are so positive and push us to do our best, cheer us on and encourage us to challenge ourselves.

Muller: Although most of the upperclassmen act as leaders on the team, our women’s captain, senior Jess Flynn, does so much for our team. She not only makes sure we are staying on top of our academics and training, but also creates such a positive team environment that is so much fun to be a part of.

Mina: The upperclassmen have all been great leaders. They’ve been nothing but helpful to the first-years, helping us settle into the swim team and general college life. Shout out to sophomore Nathaniel Yeoh, in particular. He has helped me a lot since the start of the year to make sure I had everything sorted to start college, and since we’ve been on campus, he’s helped me get to know everyone and settle into New York.

WSN: What are you looking forward to this year?

Ranile: Swimming on a new team and seeing how this season will unfold. 

Muller: Racing at our midseason and postseason meets. It is very rewarding to see everyone swim well at our priority meets when we train together all season long.

Mina: Getting some more races under my belt, in particular the championship meets, as they seem like a great experience.

WSN: How has training and racing at NYU compared to your prior experiences in high school or for a club team?

Ranile: It’s very different — there is a lot more strength training and dry land and focus on speed. I am used to aerobic training, so this is new for me. 

Muller: Swimming for NYU has so far been a very positive training and racing experience when compared to club swimming. It combines the fun of high school swimming with the rigor of club swimming in the best possible ways.

Mina: Training has been fairly similar to back home — the main difference has been that I now have to swim down the right and not the left. However, racing has been very different. I’m certainly not used to traveling meets where we get a bus down, race, then come back, so that was a cool experience. Also, I have never raced in short-course yards, so that has been something I’ve been getting used to.

WSN: What are some memorable traditions or things the team does to build a sense of community?

Muller: In general, we spend most of our time together in and out of the pool. From eating dinner together after practice, as well as socializing on weekends, as cliche as it sounds, we really are a family. My favorite tradition we do so far are our women’s team pasta dinners before meets.

Mina: To build community, the majority of the team will always eat at either Third Avenue North or Palladium dining halls after practice at night. For me, it’s been a really good way to get to meet the team and know them better outside of the pool. It’s something very simple, but I really look forward to it.

WSN: How do you think you did individually and as a team at Rowan University? 

Ranile: I was pretty happy with my races — they weren’t bad for the first meet of the season, and we did great as a team. Both the women’s and men’s teams won, which was nice. It was an easy sweep for the women’s, but a little bit tougher for the guys. Above all, though, the team spirit was there and everyone was up on their feet cheering for each other.

Muller: Both individually and as a team, I feel that we are right where we should be at this point in the season. Although we still have work to do before our target meets, racing well and cheering each other on always creates energy as we focus on our postseason.

Mina: At Rowan, we raced well as a team, getting a good win on the road. While I personally wanted to swim better, it’s very promising to see the team swimming fast going into some tough meets.

Contact Ethan Rendon at [email protected]