At Florida State, there are several athletic teams: those who compete on fields, and those who battle it out on the court. However, there's one team that utilizes neither. Instead, they fight for victory in water.
The swimming and diving team has done just that - they won the ACC Championship. This season, the team continues to make strokes toward success.
"By far, my best memory from swimming was winning ACC Championships last year," FSU sophomore David Toffaletti said. "I'll never forget the emotions and excitement that came from being a part of that."
Tofaletti, 20, is a member of the FSU swim team. The sports management major from Charlotte, N.C. has been swimming competitively since he was eight years old. He became involved in the sport to help with his asthma.
"Swimming has been something I've always done and enjoyed since I was a kid," FSU senior Billy Jamerson said. "When swimming in college became realistic for me, I was thrilled."
Recruited by the FSU Swim Team out of high school, Toffaletti is expected to give his all during practices and meets.
"Sometimes the training can be exhausting and really stressful when added to school. It can be hard when you have to wake up at 5:30 a.m. every morning to go to practice, but in the end it is all worth it," said Toffaletti.
At times, the timely effort falls short of expectations for participants.
"My least favorite part is when I do not reach my goals or as a team we do not reach our goals," FSU junior Kylen Huntwork said.
And when hard work is put forth, injuries can occur.
"My only injury while swimming occurred last year when I strained my lower back during a weight lifting practice," said Toffaletti.
In addition to practices, training and meets, the team finds time to lend a helping hand to those in need.
"As part of the swim team, we do many different community service activities," Toffaletti said. "Earlier this year, I participated in Jumpstart, where volunteers read books to disadvantaged children."
There are also benefits to being involved.
"My favorite part is traveling to places around the country and even outside the U.S.," diver and FSU junior Dan Frebel said. "Over the summer, I got to go to Thailand for the World University Games representing FSU."
Besides travel, making friends and staying in shape are other pluses to being on the team.
"Getting to see the country, the world, and making friends that I wouldn't have met unless I was a swimmer are some of the benefits," FSU Swim Team member Jarryd Botha said. "Also, being able to eat anything because it just comes off in the morning."
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