The senior athletes in Wellesley Blue sports have high expectations as they enjoy their final season of college play. The athletes among the Class of 2016 have contributed immensely to Wellesley Blue, acting as mentors and role models to their fellow teammates and peers.
This past Family and Friends Weekend of Sept. 25- 27 was also homecoming weekend for Wellesley Blue athletes. There was a “Blue Nation” athlete dinner on Friday Sept. 26th which celebrated the contributions and achievements of both current and former student-athletes along with family and friends.
family and friends. “This final homecoming serves as both a point of reflection upon past years and as a preparation for the future homecoming weekends, which I will experience from the alumnae perspective,” Lei Wei ’16 said.
Homecoming weekend also included many athletic events such as an alumnae swimming and diving meet, alumnae squash, “Blue Nation” fun run, rugby, softball, soccer and volleyball games.
Many athletes, like Laura Brindley ’16, were touched by the number of supporters in attendance at these matches. She added that fan support impacts the teams in a positive way, often inducing teams to perform better.
“My career as a Wellesley athlete has absolutely flown by, and this weekend’s homecoming reaffirmed the fact that my collegiate athletic career will soon come to a close,” Brindley said. “The support from Blue fans this weekend at the homecoming games was very touching, and even though cross country was not able to run at home this weekend, the Blue pride made the team perform at an even higher level than we had expected.” Wei,captain of the golf team, emphasized the impact that sports had on her time at Wellesley, emphasizing how being an athlete shaped her interpersonal relationships and created a support system.
“As someone who has been on the golf team since my first year, I find being a studentathlete, as stressful and difficult that it can be at certain times, extremely rewarding and memorable. For me, it is a journey of self-discovery and development, learning about how I handle pressure and unfamiliar situations and placing myself outside my comfort zone so that I can gain interpersonal, communication and leadership experiences.” Wei said. “Being a student-athlete serves as an anchor for me to meet new people, to build a team of positive and supportive mentors and to have the opportunity to offer help and support for others.
Wei continued to describe how being a part of Wellesley Blue sports has not only defined her experience of college, but has also influenced her life outside of college.
“It is this combination of ‘hardware’ foundation of time and stress-management on and off the course in addition to the ‘software’ of building networks and friendships thatmake it worth all the obstacles and drawbacks that one needs to face and overcome,” Wei added. “At the end of the day, I can reflect on my past experiences, whether good or bad, and discuss them with fondness and nostalgia. I will especially remember all the times, at practices and lifts, during travels and tournaments and other team events, that I share with my teammates.”
Brindley, a member of the Blue cross country team, spoke fondly about her time as an athlete, particularly mentioning the broad range of ways the sport has affected her life. She attributed her positive experience to friendships formed on the team.
“The feeling from this weekend was very bittersweet, because cross country has affected my life at Wellesley in so many ways, ranging from my relationships with coaches and teammates to my physical and mental health.” Brindley said. “The last four years would not have been the same without Wellesley Athletics, and I know that we will miss the team bonding and support that one can only find in participating in athletics. I am very proud to say that I will be a Blue fan for life.”
Caitlin Crawford ’16, a lacrosse and field hockey player for Wellesley Blue, voiced the same sentiment as Wei and Brindley. She added that despite the outcomes of games, the memories made with teammates were the most worthwhile.
“Being an athlete at Wellesley has probably been the best decision I’ve made since entering in my freshman year. Besides the experiences on the field win or lose, it’s the memories and adventures with my best friends off the field that I will cherish. They truly are my family,” Caitlin Crawford ‘16 said.
The next home Wellesley game is Blue Field Hockey playing against the Bowdoin Polar Bears on Oct. 1 at 4 p.m.
Photo by Bianca Pichamuthu ’16, Photo Editor
Ivy Jiang ’18 is the Sports & Wellness Editor who is majoring in Economics. When she is not studying, she is probably following the NBA, reading, watching emotional films, eating or leisurely exercising. Feel free to contact her at email@example.com.