On Students: Life Is Just Swimming Along for Water Polo Star Leslie Rice -------------------------------- Homewood News and Information In the middle of a water polo match against Bucknell University, Hopkins senior Chadd Crump drove the ball down the pool and scored the 300th goal of his college career. Water polo is a fast game of continuous play, so Crump had little time to reflect on this milestone of his amazing career. No one else seemed to notice either, except his roommate and fellow teammate Bill Baumgartner, who grinned at him from the other side of the pool while the Blue Jays again furiously battled for control of the ball. Crump went on to score four more goals during that day's conference meet. Still, the Blue Jays lost. Overmatched by the larger Division I schools, the Blue Jays, a Division III team, lost to Bucknell and Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania, two of the toughest teams in the country. "At the end of the day I had really mixed feelings," said Crump, an economics major. "I was disappointed we lost but happy I made my 300th goal. It's something I set out to do a long time ago, and it felt good to finally do it." His 300th goal is not a team record. That record remains held by Mike Zelman ('93) who scored 398 goals in his college career. But Crump's coach, Ted Bresnahan, said he considers Crump's record to be the "valid standard." "Mike Zelman was a tremendous scoring threat and single-handedly won games," explained Bresnahan. "But our competition then was on a much lower level than now ... Chadd plays in a league where a normal conference play of eight games sees only one other Division III team." Instead, he said, for the past two years the Blue Jays routinely face water polo Goliaths like Navy, Bucknell and Slippery Rock. Since his freshman year, Crump has been a leader of both the Blue Jays Swim Team and the Water Polo Team, and for the last two years has been a co-captain for both teams. Last year he helped bring the men's relay freestyle team to the national championships and the water polo team to a record undefeated finish. "Chadd's really the guy who sets the pace for everyone on the team," said Pat Underwood, assistant water polo coach. "He's a smart player, great at assessing and anticipating the moves of the other team. He can get around just about anybody and is one of the most accurate shooters I've seen. "And he isn't the biggest guy on the team (at 6 feet, he weighs 160 pounds)," Underwood added. "With his high metabolism, he is constantly working to keep his weight on. Yet I would say he's one of the toughest guys on the team." This season the Blue Jays have faced disappointing losses, mostly against Division I schools, on their way to their 2 and 9 record. Still, the Blue Jays are expected to do well in the East Water Polo Association Southern Round Conference, which will take place on the Homewood campus Oct. 14 and match up Hopkins with some of the country's best Division I and Division III teams. Water polo has been described by its fans as a combination of soccer, lacrosse and undersea submarine warfare. "It can be a rough sport, there's a lot of stuff that goes on underwater the refs can't see," admits Crump. "People are always pulling and kicking you, trying to pull your suits down, and if you're holding the ball anything goes. It's like lacrosse, where if you're in the box, they can check you in the head." To survive with three older brothers who were all swimmers, Crump had little choice but to grow fins of his own early on. By age 4, he was on a local swim team in his native Blue Bell, Pa. Then during high school at Germantown Academy, which has produced a number of Olympic swimmers and coaches, he continued the family tradition and was a leader on his high school swim team. It was also in high school that he fell in love with water polo. "My brother, the one who is closest to my age, played and got me into the sport," he said. "I liked it right off. My brother still likes to tell everyone he can kick my butt in water polo. But he's 27, and I kind of doubt that anyone really believes him anymore." Crump was one of the first Hopkins students to be actively recruited for the water polo team. Coach Bresnahan had just been hired the year before and was turning the water polo team into a competitive force. Although Crump was offered a scholarship at Georgetown University, he chose Hopkins instead because he liked the idea of playing a part in the building of a team. Now Crump does some recruiting himself. Throughout the year, he travels to high schools to talk to prospective water polo and swim team players about Hopkins. He tells these students that practices can be grueling, three hours every evening and two additional hours two mornings a week. And for Crump, as soon as water polo season ends, swim team season begins. "The hours we put in are pretty crazy," admits Crump. "Sometimes that walk across campus in the dark at 6:30 in the morning to the Athletic Center through the rain or bitter cold can be grim. Then you spend the whole day in classes, then its back to practice, a quick dinner and head to the library until midnight. There are times when I wonder why I put myself through this. "But in March, when it's all over, I find I don't know what to do with all the extra time. It's like I'm more tired at the end of the day off season for some reason. I kind of start to miss it," he says.
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