Water polo teams react to Smith Center renovations

The Smith and Kogod family donation to Smith Center announced Feb. 14 might have made headlines for its perceived impact on GW’s higher-profile basketball programs, but the influx of money will likely have an impact on more than just the teams that play on Tex Silverman Court.

Part of the planned upgrades to GW’s 32-year-old athletic facility includes an improved pool area, which is currently the home site for GW’s water polo and swimming and diving teams. The donation is the single largest in GW’s history and could affect the teams a great deal in the future. Specific details of the renovations to the pool have not been released.

Junior Amy Moren of the women’s water polo team said she felt that the most substantial improvement that could be made to Smith Center for the GW’s women’s water polo team would be making the pool deeper.

“It is a disadvantage to be able to stand (in the pool) because it is a turnover unless you are a goalie, so it would be more to our advantage as a team and especially to the taller players to have a deep, deep pool,” she said.

The GW men’s water polo team has faced the same struggles and sophomore John-Claude Wright said he would like the pool to be regulation size and similar to those of the team’s opponents.

“Regulation is a 30-meter, all-deep pool for water polo but we don’t have that and just play 25-meter shallow (on one side), deep (on the other side),” Wright said.

Aside from the detriments of the pool, Wright and head coach Scott Reed said they believe there could also be some improvements made to the workout facilities at the Smith Center that would benefit the team.

Reed said he does not consider the current facilties to be at the Division I level, and added that the school needs to upgrade a lot of things, like the weight and training rooms.

Moren said she recognizes the responsibility of the athletes to capitalize on what the new facilities may bring.

“If they’re willing to donate money to help us build our athletics, (we should) perform well and represent the school well,” Moren said.

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