By Elise Kidd
The University of Montevallo swim team is still relatively new to the university’s athletics department. They held this season’s first scrimmage on Montevallo’s campus on Oct. 9.
The entire team was assigned to either the purple or gold side. The teams competed in 26 events, ranging from multiple 200-meter relays to 1000-meter freestyles during the Saturday morning scrimmage.
Aaron Mahaney is Montevallo’s first head swim coach. He was hired in July 2018 and by December 2018, the University of Montevallo received their first commitment from Jered Poland. The 2019-2020 season was the first for Montevallo and the team competed with a 31-member roster.
The 2021-2022 season has a 42-member roster, with 21 male swimmers and 21 female swimmers. The swimmers are from as near as Alabama and as far as Albania, Romania, France, Greece and Mexico.
Spectators were not allowed during last year’s season because of the pandemic. Mahaney emphasized how it was “nice to have spectators encouraging the swimmers.” Last year due to the restrictions, Mahaney contacted families to receive photos of them and even their pets. Mahaney then printed out the photos and had “the entire wall just plastered” with pictures of the swimmers’ families to serve as COVID-friendly spectators.
Both sides were down at least two players due to injuries that occurred prior to the scrimmage. In the last event, assistant coach Brandon Parramore stepped in and swam the 400 free relay so that the purple side could have enough swimmers to compete in the event.
The gold side ended up winning both the women’s and men’s races. In women’s, the scores were 129 gold – 70 purple. The men’s scores were 185 gold – 132 purple.
Team captain Molly Hansen participated on gold side for the meet and said, “The energy on and off the pool deck is just a lot higher, especially with our new assistant coach Brandon Parramore, it’s great to have him here.”
Overall, Mahaney is confident in the team’s excitement for the season and encourages spectators to attend. The first official home meet is Nov. 6 at 10 a.m. against Birmingham-Southern College.