The Radcliffe swim team is embarking on its season with new coaching, a talented squad and strong enthusiasm. The team has been successful in the past, as indicated by last year's record of 4-0 in dual meets and co-championship in Greater Boston, but collegiate competition has grown tougher in recent years and Radcliffe swimming has had to adjust to remain a top splasher.
The greatest change in the women's swimming program was the move last year of practices from the small Radcliffe pool to the IAB--a move which enabled the team more practice time in a regulation size pool. The workouts are rigorous this year, with most team members already going at least 3500 yards a day, and some over 6000 in double workouts.
This year the swimmers have gained total respect from 60 Boylston St. As captain Maureen Murphy '76 put it, "The Athletic Department has bent over backwards to give us their support."
New Head Coach
The skipper for the team is new head coach Stephanie Johnson. Johnson, who was formerly ranked internationally in the 200 meter butterfly, has navigated a number of successful teams and is very enthusiastic about her new position.
Johnson's assistant is Cindy Richards, whose experience includes years of age group swimming in California, high school teaching, and coaching at Brigham Young. John Walker, the popular Harvard diving coach, is again doubling as the Radcliffe coach. All three coaches work as a team and feel that through a combination of their aquatic knowledge and coaching approaches, they can provide a successful formula.
In early October, each woman had a meeting with the coaches about her personal practice schedule, goals and ideas. Team members considered this an excellent means of voicing individual questions, complaints, and suggestions. As Murphy commented, "The coaches have been very accessible this year."
The times in women's collegiate swimming have been plunging rapidly and this year's meets will be tougher than ever before. The Radcliffe meets promise to be exciting, and with numerous New England records on the line waiting to be smashed, the coaches say they feel that "our interest and the ability this year is far-reaching."
Interest is abundant and ability this season is far-reaching.
Splashers We Love
Returning top splashers include seniors Maureen Murphy in distancy free-style, and Kris Krendl, a back stroker and newly discovered diving sensation. Also back are juniors Jane Hendricks and Carol Rooey in backstroke and Sue Sawyer in butterfly. Sophomore stars Laura Downey and Carol Moore are swimming hard along with a fleet of outstanding new freshmen and sophomores.
As for diving, freshman Kathy Lindenthal is one of the best divers in the country, having won the one three meter events at last year's National YMCA age group meet. Kris Krendl has done exceptionally well for a new diver and shows signs of improvement.
The team hopes, in the future, to have more Ivy League competition and to schedule meets coinciding with the men's swimming team. The coaches are working on contacting alumnae Friends of H-R Swimming, and past aquawomen to help finance Christmas training trips, similar to what the Harvard swimmers have done in recent years.
The season begins this Saturday with the Wheaton squad coming to the IAB. Prospects look good for this to be an exciting and dynamic year. The Radcliffe swimming program is one of those phenomena that keeps getting better with age.