The Ithaca College women’s swimming and diving team has a strong 7–1 record so far this season. The Bombers are hoping to improve upon their second place finish last season at the Liberty League Conference Championships and have a strong showing at the NCAA Championships.
Senior swimmer Anna D’Arrigo is primarily a freestyle swimmer and is a four-year veteran for the Bombers. She has competed in five of the Bombers’ seven meets this season, and she finished in sixth place in the 50-yard freestyle at the Senior Day meet against Alfred University on Jan. 26.
Sports Editor Jack Murray spoke with D’Arrigo about her career as a Bomber, the experience at Senior Day and what the team’s goals are for the rest of the season.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Jack Murray: How was your experience at Senior Day?
Anna D’Arrigo: It was a lot of fun. It was interesting because, as a freshman, I always looked up to having a Senior Day, and being a senior it was cool to see the whole meet being about all the seniors. It was cool having the day with the team and have family there.
JM: How would you describe your journey with Bombers?
AD: I’ve been on the team for four years, and each year is different. Each season is a new dynamic to the team, and this year has been a lot of personal ups and downs. I would describe the team as very human and very much like a family. It is a great community to have on campus.
JM: When looking at where you were as a freshman to where you are now, what is the biggest difference you see with yourself?
AD: As a freshman, I was relatively quiet and more reserved. I always looked up to the upperclassmen, but I always was nervous to talk to them. I definitely, throughout the years, have grown into a leadership role, and I have definitely been more vocal and not as shy. I want to be there — I want to help the underclassmen. I do take note of the underclassmen who are reserved and shy because I was in their shoes, and I want to take them under my wing.
JM: How do you think you’ve developed from a swimmer’s perspective since your freshman year?
AD: I think I have definitely gained to love the sport more and appreciate it. As a freshman, I was definitely more driven on results, and I think that as a senior I can reflect and appreciate the journey and how far I’ve come and what swimming has done for me personally.
JM: How has the team evolved since your freshman year?
AD: I think that each year is super different, like the dynamic. Freshman year was very fun, this year everyone is supportive. We come across instances where teammates have to be there for teammates and it’s really good to see that. Each year is super different, different season and different team. The freshmen always bring in a new atmosphere, and the freshmen this year are great, they are very energetic. It helps even the upperclassmen.
JM: What would be some goals you would give your team for the rest of the season?
AD: We are coming down the home stretch and are trying to keep the bigger picture in mind. We have been training for so long and are so close, so we need to believe in ourselves and have fun. We need to listen to coaches, listen to teammates and just keep doing what we are doing.
JM: What are some personal goals you have for yourself?
AD: I’m very sentimental when it comes to senior stuff because it is a lot of ‘lasts.’ For myself, personally, I want to enjoy the ‘lasts’ of everything. I will have my last meet, last practice or last pump-up meeting. I just want to really embrace those moments and kind of sit back and appreciate that this is the last time I will be doing this and be thankful that I have had all of the opportunities that I have had.
JM: Who would you say have been the most influential people in your experience on the swimming and diving team?
AD: Definitely the coaches, and definitely my seniors. We’ve been through four years together, and we started off all freshmen together as a really big class. Sadly, there was a good chunk of people who didn’t go all four years, but it is nice to have a nice group of seven. We are all friends and I really think it’s going to last. Having them has been influential.
JM: If you were to sum up your career with the Bombers in one word, what would it be?
AD: I would have to say inspirational. I have learned a lot about myself, about the team, especially when I had a leadership role. I know the ins and outs of swimming and have taken the sport itself both literally and figuratively. I think all the experiences I have had this season have been influential and am thankful to have had them.