Current Pacific swim teams takes on alumni
On Saturday October 14 the Pacific University Men and Women’s Swim teams will host their annual alumni meet. The event aims to highlight the program, reunite former teammates, and shine a spotlight on the people who helped build the program in years past.
For the program’s head coach, Elizabeth Whittle, this meet is the best part of homecoming weekend. “Welcoming back Pacific swimming alums to campus will be a highlight for me during the homecoming weekend,” Whittle explained. “It is so fun to see older swim teammates reconnecting with each other, as well as recent graduates feeling a lot like rockstars when current team members see their former teammates again.”
While not a Pacific alumni, Whittle competed in the Northwest Conference during her collegiate career. Whittle has achieved many accomplishments in her time here at Pacific. This will be her fourth season as the head coach of the men and women’s swimming team as they look forward to another exciting season. In each of her first two seasons, Whittle had 90 percent of her team set lifetime bests at the NWC Championships. Whittle is a good representation of the Pacific Community and what we represent.
The meet is hosted in the middle of homecoming weekend with one goal in mind: Unity. The aim of this event is to keep graduates and undergraduates connected through athletics. Boxer swimming alumni Hannah Brandow feels the value of this connection goes beyond just a teammate relationship. “For me, swimming is a big part of my life, and the Boxer team was like a second family to me,” she explains. “The alumni meet is a chance to connect with that family and catch up with other alumni. The meet helps keep the value of community and fun alive on the team, for current swimmers and alumni.”
Coach Whittle notes the Alumni Meet sticks out as a special event for the team. She explains how it serves as an opportunity to appreciate the program’s history while also providing a more fun and laid back form of competition. “The energy at the Alumni Meet is a feeling of friendly competition, celebration and nostalgia. It’s fun to see our current college swimmers compete against Boxer Swimming record holders. In addition to racing, there’s a ton of laughter and hugs. The attendees remember the commitment, community and connection from their days as a student-athlete at Pacific, and swimming unites them all.”
This event will be hosted at the Forest Grove Aquatic Center, and is open to the public with free entry. While the competition is limited to former and current athletes of the Pacific Swim program, all students are welcome. — Rose Everingham