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October 10, 2013

Fundraising event makes a splash

By Brendan Samsa

It was age against beauty as the Cleveland State University swimming and diving program hosted its fourth annual Splash Bash last Saturday at The Robert F. Busbey Natatorium.

The fundraising event which is held once a year is set up to help prepare the team for live competition while raising money for equipment, scholarships, and travel costs throughout the season. Participants include Cleveland State alumni, Ohio Masters swimmers, and the Cleveland State swimming and diving team.

Ohio Masters swimmers are a club organization mainly run out of Northeast Ohio. The club is open to all swimmers with no age limit or skill requirements.

Charging a $20 entry fee to participate, the team was looking for a big turnout from the alumni and Ohio Masters swimmers on Saturday.

“We have great alumni from all over that support our team and give many generous donations to help the team,” said Wally Morton, head coach of both men’s and women’s swimming and diving. “We have 50-75 alumni participating in this year’s Splash Bash. Also the Masters swimmers that participate allow for our team to see what good swimmers do, and what they look like, and that’s very important.”

It was a fun atmosphere at this year’s event with everyone in high spirits as participants of all ages squared off in 14 events. Splitting up the two sides were the Green team and the Black team. Each respective race was first run by the women, and then the men took their turn.

The order of events was split up between relays, individual events and diving. While many participants have long been out of competitive swimming, sportsmanship and respect for their predecessors emulated by the Cleveland State team showed the classy character that this team demonstrates day in and day out.

Although the Splash Bash is only a scrimmage for the players it is also important for the young players, as for many of them it is the first time they will swim against live competition.

With 11 freshman swimmers on the men’s team and eight on the women’s team, these newcomers can use all the practice they can get before the Oct. 18th season opener at Youngstown State. “I was kind of worried after losing a lot of swimmers from last year, but the freshman are looking very fast this year,” said Hannah Morris, Senior swimmer on the women’s team. “It’s crazy now that I’m a senior, because I can remember my freshman year and how much fun it was. I love our entire new freshman; we’re definitely a tight nit group.”

With just one more scrimmage meet this Friday traveling to Notre Dame, the team will just try to go out and have some fun in South Bend.

“We will get to see how our players stack up against competition,” said Morton. “Going to Notre Dame we will have some fun, but make no mistake, we want to compete.”