“These young ladies are willing to get after it in practice. They are fierce competitors, caring teammates and love to swim for this team. As a coach, you can’t ask for more than what these two bring to the pool.” — Steven Kuster, head swim coach
In their short time at Williams, swimmers Logan Todhunter ’12 (pictured, left) and Caroline Wilson ’13 are already causing a stir. Between them they’ve amassed eight NCAA titles and set a total of 23 College, NESCAC and national records in individual events. They’ve also been part of five record-breaking teams. But ask them about their Williams experience thus far, and they’re just as likely to talk about life out of the water. Here, in their own words, is what keeps them afloat.
Logan Todhunter ’12
I grew up in Ithaca, N.Y., surrounded by beautiful countryside, parents who are academic veterinarians, younger siblings and lots of noisy dogs. I was a swimmer in high school, part of a very good, close-knit team with an experienced, dedicated coach. I anticipated going to a Div. I school to swim competitively.
During the summer of my senior year, I qualified for a big, long course meet in Hawaii with junior athletes from the East and West Coasts. But at every training session I was the one at the end of the line, struggling to keep up with everyone else. The setting was friendly, but intense and competitive. I realized that I did not want to be part of this type of atmosphere for the next four years of my life.
I started looking at Div. III schools and went on three recruiting trips, one of which was to Williams. The camaraderie of the team, the friendly atmosphere, the strength and energy of our coach, the academic rigor and the nurturing environment made me certain Williams would be a good fit.
My time in the water has made me realize the value of time management and the significance of working hard in everything you do. The available help, academic resources and approachability of professors make it possible to succeed both in the pool and in the classroom. The support and camaraderie of the team is also very important. We are a family; we listen to each other, support one another, celebrate the successes and deal with the failures together. We go out of our way to be sure each one of us has the opportunity to participate and realize our potential.
I am also a junior advisor. My 20 freshmen are a wonderful mix of people with talent in the arts, athletics and academics. Being their mentor and a friend is similar to the role I play on the swim team. The entry is a support system in which everyone is looking out for one another and at the same time having a lot of fun along the way.
Caroline Wilson ’13
This past summer, at a swim meet in California, I was Skype-ing with Cody, one of my best friends since my first year at Williams. My roommate at the meet, a swimmer at the University of Florida, commented that Cody didn’t look like a swimmer. ‘Oh, he doesn’t swim, he plays hockey,’ I said. To which my roommate asked, ‘Wait, how do you know him?’
The reason I love swimming at Williams is that I can do more than just swim. From November until spring break, I get the full college sports experience: swimming two-a-days, competing at a high level and improving my times—all as part of a great team. I love every part of it, but what makes the swimming even better is knowing that, before and after the season, I can pursue other interests and focus on things outside of the water.
Williams has way too much to offer to be confined to the pool all year long. After going on a WOOLF trip during First Days, I applied to become a WOOLF leader last spring. The training trip and WOOLF trip I led last fall were even more fun than my freshman trip. I also started playing club water polo, taking guitar lessons and serving as the Baxter fellow of my floor in the dorm. Each of these experiences has allowed me to meet incredible people I would not have met without the balanced experience that Williams offers.
Don’t get me wrong—the swimmers are some of my best friends, and I know we will still be best friends long after our days of competitive swimming have ended. But it’s nice to spend time away from discussions on relay splits, practices and goggle tans. The entry system allowed me to make incredible friends that I was able to come home to every day. College is about branching out, experiencing new things and meeting new people. All I know is that I only have four years here, and I’m going to make sure not to waste one minute.