Valpo Swimming held its first ever Pink Out meet in order to honor individuals who have either been affected by or have loved ones who’ve been affected by breast cancer. For head coach Maggie Kroemer, the Valpo graduate and founder of the event, one specific person comes to mind.
“There’s an alum - Anne Warner is her maiden name [and] Martin is her married name - she was one of my teammates… here. She was a senior when I was a freshman,” Kroemer said. “And she passed away in May after a 6-year long battle with breast cancer.”
While Kroemer attended Valpo as a student several years ago, this is her first year as the swimming head coach.
“When I got this head coaching job I… felt like the team should do something in [Anne’s] name to honor her, so I started the Pink Meet this year.”
Kroemer says that despite this being the event’s premier, it was well-attended, especially by Anne’s family.
“We invited her family, so her husband was there, her three kids, her parents were there, her sister and her sister’s husband were there, and then also her college roommate who was a swimmer on the team was there along with her children,” Kroemer said.
Kroemer’s intentions behind creating the event were simple yet noble.
“I thought it would just be a great way to honor Anne’s memory and also raise some money for breast cancer research,” she said.
Kroemer’s goal is to make the Pink Meet an annual event. She hopes that it will continue to grow in size and attendance each year as well.
“I’d like to make it a recurring thing,” she said. “[I want] to try and continue to raise more money for the Cohen Foundation… for breast cancer research and support for people with breast cancer, and try to just make it bigger and get people more and more involved every year.”
In regard to the rest of the swim team’s season, Kroemer has high hopes.
“[Our season] has been going really well,” she said. “People are swimming faster than what they were last year at this time. We’ve had several freshmen make our Top 10 All-Time list. Attitudes have been going really well. It’s been exciting.”
She also hopes that the team will continue to grow and perform well in the coming weeks.
“We’re working on trying to get faster each and every meet. We’re trying to see if we can win some more dual meets, try[ing] to place higher at conference [and to] get more people to final at conference, and we’re really trying to break a lot of our school records,” Kroemer said.
Their next meet will take place this Saturday at Youngstown State in Ohio.