Once she gets in the pool, not much has changed for freshman swimmer Caroline Myers. The water is the same, as are the events in which she swims, so her transition from high school to college swimming has been a relatively easy one.
"Swimming is swimming, laps are laps, so that part is the same, but the atmosphere is a lot different," Myers said. "The coaches are way more encouraging, and at swim meets everyone's cheering for you, everyone cheers for everyone. No one is normally sitting down unless you just swam."
The atmosphere has translated positively for Myers, who won back-to-back Atlantic 10 weekly awards Oct. 18 and 25, making her the first GW swimmer to do so since Kristen Fagley did it in 2001.
"I think the biggest change for me is my team here, the GW team, is awesome, so supportive. They make practice fun, so I like that aspect a lot better," Myers said. "I like my coach here a lot better than I did at home. [Head coach] Dan [Rhinehart] is awesome, so is [assistant coaches] Shea [Manning] and Lauren [Fuchs]."
In the team's first meet Oct. 18 against American and Catholic universities, Myers had victories in the 500-yard freestyle and the 400-yard individual medley. Myers also won the final event of the meet, the 1650-yard freestyle, with a time of 16:40.54.
The next week in a meet at home against Drexel, Myers won four events, including the 200-yard freestyle, the 500-yard freestyle, the 200-yard individual medley and the 400-yard freestyle relay, in which she swam the anchor leg.
Both performances earned her recognition from the conference, but the freshman said the success and attention early in her first season for the Colonials has only motivated her to work harder in the pool.
"I honestly didn't think about it. I just came here, I was gonna try hard and do what I could," she said. "I didn't expect it. I was surprised, I didn't even know that A-10 thing existed. It was cool."
Myers knows that more challenges are coming as she and her teammates move deeper into their season. As the competition improves, the comfort level that Myers has found in the pool thus far will disappear. It's an obstacle Myers said she's excited to take on.
"I'm definitely excited for the end of the season, like the big meets," Myers said. "I'm excited but I'm nervous at the same time because it's just completely new people. When you're at home, you know who you're swimming against, you know how they swim their races. Here it's completely new people, you've never swam against them before, so it's different. It makes me nervous, you don't know what to expect."