After two years of no competitions, Swarthmore’s club sports teams are finally back and taking their leagues by storm.
The Women’s Rugby team had tremendous success in the fall.
“Along with our coach, Brian Weston, we were able to bring back some members from our last season in 2019 and find new recruits to create a team that went undefeated in our round robin competitions, playing schools in the Eastern Pennsylvania Rugby Union like Ursinus, UPenn, and Salisbury,” said player Kina Nichols ‘23.
In addition to their undefeated season, many of the Women’s Rugby team players tried out for the EPRU All Star team, went to the National Collegiate Rugby 7s Tournament in Houston, Texas, and became national champions. Nichols said it was a “first ever for their rugby union.”
Swarthmore Fencing Club member Rebecca Lin ’22 shared her team’s success thus far.
“We were able to participate in the Temple Open and Chaos Invitational Tournament, in addition to hosting the Baltimore-Washington Collegiate Fencing Conference North Intrameet tournament in the fall,” Lin said. “Overall, we had a very successful fall season: both our new and veteran fencers have improved tremendously.”
Both Men’s and Women’s Frisbee had victorious fall seasons. Men’s Frisbee — also called the “Earthworms” — took home another Conference Championship in the fall. Player Kevin Stewart-Mercurio ’22 said, “This technically makes us back-to-back champions since the last Conference Championship was in Spring of 2019.”
Stewart-Mercurio was also impressed with the team’s improvement throughout the season, especially by the new members.
“Most of them had never played before, and by the end of the season, they were holding their own against tough competition,” he said.
Women’s Frisbee — known as the “Warmothers” — experienced similar success. The Warmothers played their way into the game in our Regionals tournament. Player Bethany Bronkema ’22 said, “We ended up coming in 3rd at this tournament, so we were still really proud of that.”
Bronkema was similarly impressed by the improving skills of their new members.
“Having started with a team with a majority of brand new players, it was really cool to see our underclassmen improve remarkably and play well at these competitive tournaments,” Bronkema said.
After finding so much success in their fall seasons, these club sports are determined to dominate this spring.
“The spring season is an exciting one because it is the time of the year that we compete in 7’s Rugby,” Nichols said.
With seven players per side, Nichols explained that this structure leads to a more explosive and exciting rugby game compared to the traditional fifteen.
“Two years ago, SWAT won the District Championship and placed 16th National among the National Small College Rugby Organization (NSCRO),” Nichols said. “This was the first time this happened in school history, so we are excited to make a run at making history once again!”
Swarthmore Fencing will also face the championships.
“We anticipate participating in the United States Association of Collegiate Fencing Clubs Championships, which is the highest level collegiate fencing conference in the US,” said Lin. “Swarthmore has not participated in this tournament for a while, due to the lack of fencers, but we hope we will be able to go this year!”
Similar to the Warmothers, the Earthworms are also working towards a National bid according to Stewart-Mercurio.
“We’re looking forward to another chance to defend our Conference Championship title and another push towards earning a bid to Nationals,” he said “Our new players are growing, and our seniors are ready to finish their college Ultimate careers on a good note.”
Bronkema shared her hopes for the Warmothers’ new season.
“This spring, we are really looking forward to starting the season with more of a skills background and being able to keep improving.” She added, “We hope to again perform well at Regionals, and we’re always shooting for a bid to Nationals.”
Swarthmore’s club sports are always welcoming new players that are eager to learn and compete! We wish them the best of luck as they begin their spring seasons!