Since the arrival of Jeremy Kipp and his staff to Northwestern, the men’s and women’s teams have noticed a difference in culture. Not to mention that now they’re 1 team instead of 2.
Once you step on campus, you can tell that the now combined swimming program means business. They work hard as a team, in and out of the pool, even if all of their schedules don’t line up all of the time. The men and women chose their fall class schedules still thinking they would be separate teams, so Kipp and his staff had to honor their old practice schedules and keep most water workouts fairly separate. However, after morning workouts, the whole team eats breakfast together as one in the brand new state of the art athletic facility on campus, which is also the building they lift in.
Athletes expressed it has been an adjustment combining the men and women’s programs, especially in terms of finding an identity both as a women’s or men’s team as well as a combined team. Sophomore Becky Kamau explained that developing both cultures was important in that Big 10’s and NCAA’s are both separate meets, so you had to function on all cylinders without half of your teammates there. However, for growth purposes and developing as elite athletes, training all together seems to be working well for the wildcats. The goals have been set high, and with similar goals for men’s and women’s teams, double the support from their teammates is never a bad thing.