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Positive end to season

Mills College Weekly

During their final meet, the Mills College swim team broke the
school record for the 400 free relay, making it the 13th record
broken this season.

“It was fun to end the meet on a school record,” said head swim
coach Neil Virtue. “It was very reflective of the season.”

Swimmers Sophia Tuttle, sophomore; Kat Love, junior; Emily
Kaufmann, senior; and Alexi Ueltzen, freshwoman, were on the relay
team that broke the record with a time of 4:21.46.

Megan Miller, junior, said that the best part of the day was
“completing the 200 breast stroke and hearing everyone cheer for
me. We rock!”

There were smiles on all of the team members’ faces as they sat
in the hot tub after the meet reflecting on the day and the

“This is one of the best teams we’ve had since swimming started
five or six years ago,” said Ashley Hart, senior. “We have really
come together.”

Virtue described the team as being an amazing group of people
who “are supportive and like to have fun and laugh, which is

Everyone has achieved a personal lifetime best and the beginners
have made amazing progress.” He said that some new swimmers went
from never being on a team to looking like competitive

“They are all hard workers who are willing to come to practice
and try something new, which is a big challenge,” said Bridget
Mansell, the assistant coach. She also said that it was great to
see new faces in the sport and there were a lot of memorable
events, including the trip to Oregon they took at the end of
January. “[The trip] was a lot of fun and it was challenging, but
they had great attitudes and a lot of pride for the team and

At the last practice before the meet, the swimmers wore
pantyhose while swimming as a resistance exercise. “It is all about
the pantyhose,” said Miller.

During the meet, the coaches from the participating schools,
Mills, S.F.S.U. and C.S.U. Hayward, took time out to recognize the
seniors on their teams. Three seniors, Kaufman, Hart and Kelly
Sheahen, were recognized from Mills. In turn, they thanked Mansell
and Virtue by presenting them with a crocheted hat made from the
pantyhose the team wore at practice the night before.

“It was a great season,” said Michelle Christensen, freshwoman.
“Neil and Bridget really put our team together. An unknown fact
about Neil: he is a great break-dancer.”

“The coaches’ philosophy is about personal success and
confidence building,” said Xu Wang, junior, a first time swimmer on
a competitive team. “I’ve learned a lot.”

“Neil does a great job of recognizing each swimmer’s individual
talents,” said Sheahen, who missed the meet because she was taking
the LSAT but showed up to cheer on her teammates. “I would have
rather been swimming than taking the LSAT.”

The team agreed that swimming for Mills was one of the best
parts of being students here.

“I accomplished the hardest thing during my four years at Mills
College: the 100 [meter butter]fly,” said Sheahen, who added that
going to Mills is only worth it if you play a sport.

Kristen Van Antwerp, sophomore, said that it was a new,
encouraging experience and while being on the swim team her GPA
went up and she became better at time management.