LANCASTER, Pa. – McDaniel's men's and women's swimming team has been honored as the Centennial Conference (CC) Student-Athlete Sportsmanship Award winner in the team category, released on Wednesday.
The Green Terror was nominated for the award by fellow conference member Bryn Mawr after the team's act of sportsmanship during a dual meet on Feb. 1.
During the meet – a 99-68 win for McDaniel, one of the Bryn Mawr swimmers was taking a little longer than the rest of the field to finish the 400 individual medley. The McDaniel women's team joined her Owl teammates to cheer for the swimmer from the deck. The McDaniel men's team, in attendance in support of their women's team, joined in the cheers for this opponent.
According to the nomination from Bryn Mawr, "It meant so much that the other team did not laugh or make fun of my fellow athlete but rather cheered her on…. I was proud to be in the CC with them."
"Although I think we can agree that one of the top priorities in competition is seeing how you stack up against the person next to you, and hopefully for us, it's on the topside," head coach Jeff Hiestand noted. "But I think competition also provides us with the opportunity to help each other be the best we can be. I want our swimmers to understand the best way to help yourself, is to help others."
Additionally, Bryn Mawr was moved by the sportsmanship shown by the McDaniel teams at the conference championship. The Green Terror was the only team to stay during the entire morning session in support of the other competitors.
"Team first," Hiestand added about the championship event. "I think sending teammates to eat, or back to the hotel, sends the wrong message. In this situation, even if I had asked if they wanted to, they would have said no. Everyone was staying through the afternoon miles (1,650 freestyle) to cheer on their teammates. And our team grew stronger because of it."
In the words of Bryn Mawr head coach Nikki Whitlock, "The Bryn Mawr swim team is proud to have nominated the McDaniel swim team for their unselfish and genuine support during this year's Centennial Conference Swimming Championships. The moment of athletic camaraderie came when the last preliminary heat of the women's 1650 was racing. The spectator stands were empty except for a few parents watching the last race of Sunday morning. The entire McDaniel swim team and Bryn Mawr team were on the poolside cheering on their teammates in the heat. One of Bryn Mawr senior swimmers was finishing her last laps of the 66-lap race solo while the rest of the heat had finished. This swimmer had a goal time for her final race of her swimming career and she was just on pace to break that time. The Bryn Mawr swimmers were wildly cheering for our swimmer to keep her motivated and on pace. Every McDaniel swimmer and coach joined us! There was a wall of enthusiastic arm-waving athletes making that Bryn Mawr swimmer go faster. Our swimmer finished her race and broke her goal time by 4 seconds! Afterwards, the McDaniel swimmers joined us in a congratulatory gauntlet on the pool deck. It was such a moment of pure love of the sport and competition. It was a reminder that every athlete counts and the McDaniel's swim team showed the true spirit of sportsmanship! Congratulations to a well-deserved award to the team and their coach Jeff Hiestand."
The CSEC defines a sportsmanship act as behavior exhibited by student-athletes based on values, respect and integrity.
In addition to meeting that definition, to be nominated the team's act had to positively affect a community's sports culture and game environment, go beyond the sport's playing rules and etiquette and the decision must be respect of the game and opponent.