By Adrianne Hutto, Production Editor
The Manhattan College swim and diving team moved their practices to Horace Mann this semester.
This isn’t the first time the team has had to move facilities. Mackenzie Tuttle, a senior psychology major on the swimming and diving team who has been since her freshman year, said the team has had practices at four different pools during her college career so far.
“Freshman year, I was at Fieldston,” Tuttle said. “And then sophomore year was COVID. We swam at the Riverdale Y for a week. And then last year we were at Riverdale Country Day School which was nice. And now we’re at Horace Mann.”
The Riverdale Country Day school is reportedly a 20 to 30 minute walk from Manhattan College. Last year, the Jaspers allotted practice time was from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., but because of dining hall restrictions, swimmers had to be out by 7:15 p.m. to make it back in time for dinner.
“It’s very frustrating when we’re not sure if we have a pool coming into each year,” Tuttle said. “But once we actually get there, it’s fine.”
This is the first time Horace Mann will be allowing another institution to use their pool. With the facilities only being five years old and in the wake of COVID, they had not been open to those outside their school community.
The team was able to secure the pool because of the connection between Robert Annunziata and Marianne Reilly MC’s athletic director, who were classmates during their time at Manhattan College.
Robert Annunziata, the athletic director at Horace Mann explained over the phone that the Horace Mann has collaborated with MC in the past, allowing use of tennis and volleyball facilities and MC giving them use of Gaelic Park and Draddy Gymnasium.
Eric Rasmussen has been coaching the swim team at Manhattan College since September of 2021. Rasmussen explained that the switch to Horace Mann has been extremely beneficial for the team.
“Horace Mann has a number of advantages. One of them is a bigger facility,” Rasmussen said. “So Horace Mann has an eight lane pool compared to Riverdale [Country Day’s] six lane pool. Number two, a little bit more deck space, that’s a comfort thing. I guess they just have a little bit more room around the deck for the team to stretch or whatever it might be. The last and probably the most important, we can walk to that school. Last year at Riverdale [Country Day], they had a walk all the way up to Riverdale [Country Day], which is a good 30 minute walk or somebody might have to bring a van back to pick them up.”
Despite the hiccups the team has faced over the last four years, Rasmussen is confident in the swimmers’ abilities.
“We graduated a lot of seniors and we did not bring in as many freshmen as we graduated, but the freshmen we brought in are all pretty talented and I think we’re gonna make great contributions to the program pretty much from day one,” Rasmussen said. “But it’ll be nice moving forward because we will graduate that many this coming spring. Hoping for a good recruiting class this year with the stability of the program of having this permanent facility. That’s a huge factor in recruiting.”
With the move to Horace Mann, the team will be able to host swim meets just a few blocks away from Manhattan’s campus. On Saturday, Oct. 22, the team will be having a home meet against St. Francis College that is open to students and parents.