Cougar of the Week: David Powers

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Cougar by Erin McKeon

Photo By Erin McKeon

David Powers (‘16) has been a consistent top swimmer for Clark throughout his fleeting college career. He sat down with The Scarlet to talk about the Clark Invitational, life as a swimmer, and what he’ll remember most about swimming for Clark.

Scarlet: How has your final season been going for you?

Powers: I’m very happy with how this season is going for me. Performance wise, I’ve been right at my best times all season and my strokes feel stronger than ever. I can’t wait to give it all I’ve got at NEWMACs next week! I’m also extremely happy with the team dynamic this year. I have so much love for this team. The group of people we have this year is so supportive, optimistic and fun. It makes me really sad that I won’t be able to continue competing with the team, but I can honestly say that I couldn’t have asked for a better team to end my time at Clark with.

Scarlet: How did the Clark Invitational go last weekend?

Powers: The Clark Invite was so much fun. This was the first time in my Clark swimming career that we hosted an invite, and I think it went swimmingly (pun intended). We saw season bests across the board, and most importantly, everyone had tons of fun. The meet had a very energetic feel to it. It was great sharing our senior night with Wheaton and WPI.

Scarlet:  Now the last home meet of the season is typically the meet where the seniors are honored, can you tell me how that was for you?

Powers: The meet was bittersweet to me. The team did an absolutely amazing job preparing everything for the seniors. It feels like yesterday that I stepped up to the block at my first Clark home meet and now I just finished my last. As an underclassman I never realized how emotional the senior meet would be. I’ve been swimming competitively since the third grade and it’s become such a huge part of my life and identity. It wasn’t until the invite that the reality of the coming end really hit me. I’m going to miss everything about my time on the team as a Clark Cougar.

Scarlet:  What has been the hardest thing about swimming to deal with?

Powers: In high school I had a few serious injuries related to swimming, but luckily none of them carried over to Clark (knock on wood). I can’t really consider it a hardship, but the greatest struggle I’ve had at Clark was the rough practice schedule. Waking up at 6 a.m. every morning takes its toll on your mind and body. There’s nothing more that I want at 5 or 6 a.m. after a late night of studying than to curl up under the warm blankets and sleep.

Scarlet: Have you overcome it, or is it something that a college swimmer just deals with?

Powers: Although I hate jumping into a cold pool before the sun rises, I’ve been able to overcome it with the help of my team. When that dreaded alarm goes off, the only thing getting me out of bed is the thought of my teammates pushing through the same routine.

Scarlet: The team is mostly comprised of first-years, how has the team handled this inexperience?

Powers: From a competitive standpoint, the size of our team is far from ideal. However, with a small team comprised of mostly first-years and seniors, we’ve become an extremely close family. It’s rare that seniors and first years have the opportunity to get to know each other on the level that we do. It’s awesome. This team is filled with the most amazing, talented, quirky people I know and I’m so glad I’ve been able to get so close to every one.

Scarlet: NEWMACs are right around the corner, which signals an end to your college swimming career. Looking back, is there any moment you wish you could go back and relive?

Powers: All of it. With the end in sight, I’ve been very nostalgic and there’s not a second on this team that I wouldn’t relive if I had the choice. Each year brought so many fun memories and people into my life that any hardships I’ve had seem so insignificant. I love the racing, the people, the ability to eat endless amounts of food without getting fat, the practices, the feeling of rubbing your legs together after you shave, training trip, the meets. All of it, just all of it.

Scarlet: Is there any moment you wish you could do over?

Powers: Every year we have a scrimmage style meet and one of the races is a feet first relay during with each swimmer has to swim a lap feet first. So during my first year on the team, I jumped into the pool over confidently only to realize I had no idea what I was doing. That was the closest I’ve ever been to drowning. If I could, I would go back and practice a little before the race to avoid the traumatic experience.

Scarlet: Can you name someone one the team, past or present who has helped shape the person you are today?

Powers: Almost everyone on the team, past and present has had an impact on shaping who I am today, but if I have to choose one it would have to be Eric Macksoud (‘13). From my first day at Clark, Eric took me under his wing and made sure that I felt part of the family. He always made the best of every situation and showed me how important it is to stay positive and focus on having fun with the experience.

Thanks for the interview, David!