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Rams build team camaraderie for second half of season

A Colorado State swimmer participates in the butterfly event against the University of Denver on Oct. 21. The Rams were defeated by the Pioneers. (Erica Giesenhagen | Collegian)

Beginning in October and running through the NCAA championships in March, the college swimming season is as grueling a schedule in college athletics.

With such a long schedule, the hundreds of hours of practice can become dry and monotonous. Luckily, Colorado State head coach Christopher Woodard and the rest of the coaching staff have devised some ways of keeping practice light and make sure the athletes are having fun.

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“This week we are starting Ram Rally,” Woodard said. “Two or three of our athletes will lead the team in a hype up.”

This hype up has taken several different forms in the past including songs, cheers and poetry. In addition, the team also participates in something called “winners circle” every Thursday. This give the swimmers a chance to give recognition to each other for accomplishments both in and out of the pool.  

These activities are intended to help the swimmers mesh and become a closer unit. This is all in preparation for the second half of the season starting after winter break. The first half of the season saw a young Rams team struggle to gain consistent traction.

More importantly, though, it also saw the emergence of the future for the women’s swimming and diving team.

Sophomore Marie Goodwin has been a bright spot for the team all season including her performance against Houston for which earned her Mountain West Swimmer of the Week recognition. In the meet, Goodwin won three individual events scoring 27 of the team’s 122.5 points.

Going into her second year, Goodwin has become more comfortable in the pool, ranking in the top three in the Mountain West in many of her events.

“Freshman year was all about learning,” Goodwin said. “How to be a college student and how to be a student-athlete.”

Goodwin was quick to complement her teammates for the leadership they all bring to the team. Whoever is having the best day will take on the duty of making sure everyone is trying their best.

“I think the captain in our group, Ida (Donohue), has done a really great job this year of keeping everyone positive,” Goodwin said. “Also, Tonicia Thomas has been a vocal leader for us this year. She has really been able to get us hyped up.”

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After finishing the fall portion of their schedule, the Rams will enter winter training, which starts now and extends until their next dual meet against Fresno State, San Diego State and New Mexico in California on Jan. 8.

This training can be a taxing time for swimmers as they spend some of their winter break in the pool training instead of at home with family. However, with a supporting coaching staff and strong team leadership, the Rams hope to be ready for a strong second half of their season.

Collegian sports reporter Tyler Johnson can be reached by email at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @TylerGjohnson20.

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