by RACHEL BLISS
As Mary Washington’s swim team prepares for their final home meet of the season, sophomore geospatial analysis major Larry Almariento discusses his swim career, experience at Mary Washington and how the season has gone so far.
Almariento has been a part of the men’s swim team for two years and has previously won swimmer of the meet—an award that recognizes his hard work on the team.
Ryan Sullivan, the assistant coach of the swim team, described Almariento’s performance in the pool.
“[He is] an exemplary member of the UMW swim team,” said Sullivan. “His work ethic and attention to detail in the pool is admirable and something we should all strive for in every facet of our lives.”
Almariento was injured for most of the summer and unable to fully train. This semester, he has been prioritizing recovery.
“My season as of right now is not going as well as I personally would have hoped, but it’s not going terribly,” he said. “We’re getting back into it. We’re trying to build our way back up to the top.”
Almariento started swimming when he was seven years old on his neighborhood swim team in Virginia Beach, Va.
Around the age of nine, he started getting more serious about the sport, and he joined Old Dominion Aquatic Club, a year-round program where he could swim at a higher level. He still trains with this team during his off-season as well as over the summer.
Almariento noted that high school and club swimming careers prepared him to swim in college. However, he found that his high school swim team was not very collaborative compared to other team sports. Coming to Mary Washington has been a great change from that aspect, he explained, as there is a lot more camaraderie amongst the team.
“I appreciate the close-knit bonds I’ve created on this team,” he said.
Almariento’s favorite events are the 500-meter freestyle, 200-meter freestyle, 100-meter butterfly and 200-meter butterfly. His primary event, where he excels the most, is the 200-meter freestyle.
So far this season, the men’s swim team has won 4–3, taking home wins over the University of Lynchburg, Randolph-Macon College, St. Mary’s College of Maryland and Catholic University.
Almariento attributed these wins to their strong start to the semester.
“I believe we set out on the right foot this year with the ability to start a little bit earlier within the season, and the training implemented by our coach was more rigorous,” he said.
When talking about the team and Almariento’s success, teammate Johnathan Zimmer, a sophomore business major, said that Almariento’s “commitment to excellence in the pool is a beacon of hard work, setting a high standard for our entire swim team.”
The UMW swim team competed in their final home swim meet on Jan. 27. They will compete in the NJAC Championships from Feb. 15–18 and the NCAA Division III Championship from March 20–23.