JEFFERSON CITY, T.N. – The Carson-Newman swim team will have their fourth-annual Blue vs. Orange Championships on Friday, Sept. 27th at 5:30 p.m. in the Maddox Student Activities Center on C-N's campus.
The event is an intra-squad dual-meet in which Eagle swimmers are matched up against one another. It is an event that has built both culture and comradery since its inception by head coach Jordan Taylor in the 2016-17 season.
"The close racing that we get in the Blue vs. Orange and the passion we get I feel starts us off on a great foot," Taylor said.
Two seniors are chosen to be the captains over the two teams and it is their responsibility to draft their teammates, measuring their squad's strengths and weaknesses.
"It gets the athletes thinking about lineups, thinking about how to make their team as strong as possible," Taylor said. "Once you're on that team, that's you for life."
After Blue won the inaugural event, Orange has won two years in a row. Last season, Orange managed a narrow 206-204 triumph that came down to the final event, the men's 200-meter relay, which was decided by 0.01 seconds.
"Over the last three years we've seen some really, really close races," Taylor said. "…Every year it's come down to a matter of points, typically decided with the last set of relays, the guy's and girl's 200-meter medley relay and the crowds are involved and the athletes are involved because they care about their team."
The competition has quickly evolved into a family get-together of sorts, featuring both current and past Carson-Newman swimmers. After the main event, alumni will race one another, still representing the team they swam for during their college career.
"Every year now we invite all of our alumni back, make it more of a family event," Taylor said. "We have a lot of parents come into town, faculty and staff come and attend the meet and with the alumni coming back we have a chance to catch up with them a little bit."
The contest also acts as a measuring stick by which Taylor can measure his group.
"One of the main focuses of this meet is executing race skills," Taylor said. "…With us having high-level competition within our program, it just continues to raise the standard and this meet will mean more because it's a kind of testing ground for us to decide how we're going to pick our lineup."
Be sure to keep up with the C-N swim team all season long across Carson-Newman social media platforms and on cneagles.com.