The Thursday before the New England Championship Swim Meet last March, I remember sitting in a hostel in northern Patagonia, checking nepssa.org. Disregarding the long line that was forming behind me to use the internet, I analyzed all of the possible outcomes of the meet.
Two days later, I skyped my mom from the same computer, and she told me that the DA swim team had won for the second year in a row. As I sat in that hostel with three of my best friends, there was no place I longed to be more than the Koch pool, to congratulate the team and share the pride that I felt.
At that time, I was traveling with a friend who had swum similar events against me at Choate during sophomore, junior and senior year. When I got off the phone to tell him about our victory, he responded, “You guys deserved that.” I think that’s something that is unique about our rivalry with Choate. No matter how intense the competition was in the pool, we got out and shook hands at the end of every water polo game or swim meet, proud of a win or intensely motivated by a loss.
I joined the UVA club swimming team, but after two months here, I’ve only been to two practices. No doubt it’s partly because I’m lazy, but I think it’s more because I miss the lofty rafters of the Koch Pool, the sense of purpose I always felt on that deck, and the camaraderie of our team.
Bo Swindell ’08 was captain of the boys’ water polo and boys’ swim team New England’s. He is now a freshman at University of Virginia after a gap year.