It was just last year that Baylor didn’t have a club swim team. Now, at the end of their first full season, Baylor Club Swimming placed first overall at the Southwest Swim League Championship meet on Saturday at the University of Texas at Dallas.
Southlake junior Parker Tadlock was one of eight swimmers representing Baylor at the meet Saturday. He also serves as the team’s head coach. Tadlock said he always had faith in his team, but winning the championship was a pleasant surprise.
“We took an exceptional group of people to this meet,” Tadlock said. “They allowed me to push them to their limits and past their limits all year long. This trophy represents our constant dedication to the sport.”
Tadlock was particularly surprised to win at a meet with such a small team. Eight teams competed, each of them with at least 12 people, and the Baylor men’s team had seven.
Tadlock knew immediately when coming to Baylor that he wanted to start a club swim team. In his first few weeks, he began working with Student Activities to make the team. It was approved by the end of the fall semester in 2014, and they started officially practicing as a team at the start of the spring semester last year.
“I have dreamed of winning the championship since I started the club last year,” Tadlock said. “I am so proud of all of us. Each person on this team has met goals they set for themselves at the start of the year. There is nothing more I could ask for from my team than to meet their goals and win championships, and that is exactly what we did.”
Lake Jackson junior Tyler Yates came into the season with the goal of beating his personal records from high school. He accomplished his goal by beating his personal best for the 100 yard breaststroke.
“A lot of people come to college and think they have to quit sports because they’re not good enough,” Yates said. “I want to encourage my team by showing them they can be just as good as they were, and even be better.”
Yates has been impressed all year with the dedication of his teammates and is glad it is paying off.
“Everyone on the team is amazing,” Yates said. “We all work so hard. I know I’ve skipped plenty of SI’s to go to practice, and everyone else has made sacrifices too. This meet was so important not only because we won and a lot of guys got first in their events, but because people got their personal best times and accomplished their goals.”
Yates will be serving as the vice president of the team next year and is looking forward to accomplishing much more and helping the whole team improve.
Hugo, Minn., sophomore Sami Kaiser was the only girl to compete for Baylor Saturday. Kaiser was also surprised the team won with so few people, but when she realized the guys had won all the relays, she thought winning the championship might be a possibility.
“I can’t think of anyone else who deserves it more than us, but with a small team, it’s hard to imagine,” Kaiser said.
Kaiser was elected treasurer for next season and is very excited to recruit more girls, increase social events, and help create a more well-rounded team.
The team practices four days a week for an hour and a half a day and Kaiser tries to lift weights three times a week and run at least twice a week.
“It’s definitely more than just swimming that goes into making a team great,” Kaiser said. “I love this team because we all go above and beyond. I have formed so many new friendships, and I can’t wait for seasons to come.”