Courtney McCardle has enjoyed a decorated four-year career at Seton Hall and finished her last races for the Pirates’ swimming and diving team with her named etched in the record books.
A New York State Section IX 100-breast champion and record holder coming out of high school, McCardle loved the proximity of Seton Hall to her hometown of Hurley, New York. Crediting her family for being there for all her home swim meets, she used the motivation to be a successful pirate in each season. McCardle won five meets her freshman year, swam to two second place finishes and even finished fourth in the 50-free at the Big East Championships to close out the season.
“I wanted to go somewhere that was far from home but not too far, so if I need to go home ever, I could,” said McCardle. “Obviously, I wanted my parents and family to come and support me so that was a huge part of me coming here, too.”
At the Big East Championships, McCardle had two top-eight finishes her sophomore year, but no year was she more productive than her final season. Although she did not win an event, she broke three program records in the process. McCardle swam to break Seton Hall’s record for times with 200-Yard Freestyle time of 1:49.34 in the opening leg of the 800-Yard Freestyle Relay on the first night and recorded a school-record 23.56 in the opening leg of the 200-Yard Freestyle Relay on second night. The New York native also broke a program record in the 50-Yard Freestyle.
“That was definitely amazing and was one of my goals I set at the beginning of this year,” said McCardle. “When I came in as a freshman, I told myself that I wanted to be on that record board. I am proud of myself, I worked really hard for it and I told myself it was my last shot to give it my all.”
The Pirates’ women’s swimming and diving team took fourth place at this past season’s championship, third the two previous seasons and fourth again in McCardle’s freshman year.
McCardle noticed the lack of success that the woman has had and notices the success that the men have had but would not change her experiences for anything. One of the goals she set out for the team this season was to finish second albeit the lesser finish. McCardle had no regrets and will miss the eccentric team atmosphere the most.
McCardle had many fond memories but the most joyous was the final races for the seniors.
“Now, it was definitely this Big East Championship, watching all the seniors do their last swims,” said McCardle. “It was so bittersweet, and I was just so proud of going through the four years with them. I cried a lot, like a baby, but it was a good cry. I’m sad I’m done but it’s time.”
Evando Thompson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Thompsev.