Participating in a sport that is focused entirely on time, it was fitting that seniors Kyle Krueger and Paige Newell ended their swimming careers not necessarily thinking about how fast they were swimming, but about how they had arrived at this moment.
These seniors, along with five other underclassmen, swam at the Virginia Tech Invitational, their personal championship meet, in Blacksburg, VA while the rest of their team stayed behind in preparation for the Ivy League Championship.
Both Krueger and Newell spent the weekend making and recalling memories, as they tried to appreciate the final moments of their swim careers, which began over 15 years ago.
“I think Paige and I were very reflective in this meet, and really tried to soak up all the enjoyment and all the little things,” Krueger said. “We tried to remember how much we enjoy swimming and swimming for Harvard. It was definitely bittersweet, and strange to be swimming our last race but it was a nice, fitting way for us to wrap up our last season.”
Krueger placed fourth in the 100 breaststroke on Saturday and sixth in Sunday’s 200 breaststroke race, while Newell placed second in the 1650 freestyle. After they scored top eight finishes in multiple events, assistant coach Amanda Kulik described the seniors’ performances as inspirational for the younger swimmers who learned from their advice.
“While this meet was a great opportunity for them to race again, it was a way for them to give their heart and soul in the pool,” Kulik said. “It was a very challenging meet for both of them, because they had to try to swim with the bittersweet emotions.”
The Harvard representation in the pool may have been small, but Kulik described the team’s presence on deck as quite the opposite.
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