Sports Wheaton

Macdonald Makes History

First year artistic swimmer Olivia Macdonald captured the National Collegiate Championship with her solo routine this past weekend, becoming the first-ever Wheaton Artistic swimmer to do so. 

The Toronto native made Wheaton Athletics history with a monumental victory in the solo portion of Artistic swimming nationals. The competition was held at Westside Aquatic Center in Lewisville, Texas. As a team Wheaton placed fifth in the nation, while The University of the Incarnate Word captured the overall team championship. 

Macdonald’s impressive victory was not a nail-biting one, the rookie won the solo competition by over sixteen points with a score of 209.22. Sixteen points behind Macdonald, capturing second place, was former Olympian Lindi Schroder of Stanford University. 

“I think what made this moment so amazing to me was that not only was I making myself and the team proud, I was making history for Wheaton Athletics,” said Macdonald. “Being able to represent a small school like Wheaton on the national stage and make my coach so proud amplified the fact that Wheaton is where I am meant to be.”

It was evident Macdonald’s win meant a lot to not only herself but to the team and head coach Rebecca Ercoli, who is in her fifteenth season with the program. After the results were announced, a video that was shared many times across Wheaton social platforms shows an emotional Ercoli and Macdonald embracing with the rest of the team poolside. 

“The Collegiate Nationals was truly a memorable and incredible experience for us,” said Hannah Halberg, a junior captain of the artistic swimming team. “ Olivia winning the first-ever solo championship brought the team to tears. It shows that all of our hard work paid off.”

Macdonald’s National Championship win was also the first national title for Wheaton in about a decade. Only a few in the Wheaton Athletics program have been around long enough to see the Lyons succeed so highly on the national stage.

Olivia winning the National Collegiate Championship in the Open Solo for artistic swimming is a tremendous accomplishment,” said Alan Wickström, Wheaton College Director of Athletics Communications. “She is the first Lyon to earn an individual national title since 2014 and, in the process, she defeated a pair of former Olympians…You really can’t ask for much better than that. We are very proud of Olivia’s accomplishment, which ranks as high as any achievement in the 83-year-old history of the Wheaton Artistic Swimming program.” 

March 21 is a day that will go down in Wheaton history for both Olivia Macdonald and the Wheaton artistic swim program, the longest-running program in the country beginning in 1941.