Cameron Whiting CM ’15 cannot remember a time when he did not know how to swim. He grew up loving the water and with a pool in his backyard, joining his first swim team at the age of seven. Four years later, Whiting was swimming year-round on a competitive team. Now, Cameron is facing his fourth and final season on the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps swim and dive team.
“I knew swimming was something I wanted to do in college, so Claremont was the perfect place for me to be able to come and study economics and finance and swim for the team,” Whiting said.
Despite the challenges of competitive swimming, Whiting maintains his love for the sport to this day.
“I remember my very first practice was in Seattle, and I had my little speedo on and my Swedish goggles. Swimming through that practice I was just miserable. But when it came to the end of the day, there was this urge inside of me to go back, as much as it sucked,” Whiting said.
His devotion to the sport and his teams has paid off over his many years as an athlete and his four years with CMS.
“Cameron has speed; he is really quite a talented athlete,” teammate Alexander Mendoza CM ’15 said. “He is really humble and really positive and is never one to brag about his accomplishments, but he is always one to lead with his actions. He swims great under pressure; he’s a big time performer. He is a part of three records—so absolutely a team leader.”
While Whiting did not arrive on the team as the fastest swimmer, his times drastically improved during his sophomore year. Since then, he has focused on competing with the goal of reaching nationals and breaking records. He is a leader on the team both through his speed and his camaraderie with teammates.
“Cameron has high expectations of himself, of his teammates, of his coaches, and that encourages everyone around him to raise their game, and it creates positive synergy,” head coach Charles Griffiths said. “He is definitely a strong leader on the team because he leads by example just the way he is, but he also spends time to watch out for other team members.”
After his many years of swimming, Whiting’s favorite part of the sport remains the competition amongst swimmers and the racing.
“At the end of the day, we swim to race. That’s the thing I love the most about swimming, and that’s what gets you through to the end of the day—that your hard work is going to pay off, and you’ll get to race,” Whiting said.
Despite his love for racing and his competitive nature, Whiting is always supportive of teammates even when his own races might not go as planned.
“Sophomore year we had a race, and Cameron was leading the entire race and was bound to go some ridiculous time, and then he just hit a wall. So we just flew by him, and we touched him out,” Mendoza said. “We were cheering, we were so happy, and I expected to see a scowl on Cameron’s face, but he got out of the water and gave us high fives and was so pumped for us. He was so excited for the team and the potential we had as a unit instead of focusing on his bad swim.”
Though swimming is all about individual times, Whiting recognizes the importance of teammates and the camaraderie that the CMS team holds.
“I want to give a shout out to my teammates. Our biggest competition comes from the people we are racing everyday in practice,” Whiting said. “My biggest competition comes from the person I am sharing a lane with everyday. I really get that preparation for racing every day at practice.”