|Miranda Jacobs is a senior swimmer for North Carolina A&T out of Baltimore.|
GREENSBORO, North Carolina -- After 18 seasons, North Carolina A&T State University's women's swimming team swam its final lap in the school's history. The end came Feb. 21 at the Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association championships in Athens, Georgia. After the fate of the program was announced in 2013, the only women's historically black colleges and universities Division I swim program is officially a thing of the past, leaving Howard University, its MEAC conference competitor -- and an integrated team -- the only surviving HBCU swim program out of more than 100 institutions.
We spoke to five of A&T's 11 members -- Aarica Carrington (21) co-captain and senior; Dominique Crable (21) senior; Kenya Dunn (22) senior; Justice Montgomery (20) sophomore; and Victoria Orr (22) co-captain and senior -- about how it felt to represent their team in the final swimming championship meet.
espnW: How did you prepare for your final meet?
Aarica Carrington: We listen to music. All kinds, but mostly trap music because it gets us excited. Before every meet, we make posters. We have chants that we do. 1-2-3 last of dying breed! That's our main one -- the last of a dying breed.
Justice Montgomery: Our meet chants are also our school chants because they're all so lit. We use our "A-G-G-I-E what? P-R-I-D-E what? Give me that! Give me that! What?" And then me and my best friend, before either of us swim our individual meets or our relays, we give each other our life lessons so that we swim faster. We divide the handshake to trade energy from each other so that we have more energy to swim faster. So that's a big ritual. We used that a lot at championship.