The Gustavian Weekly

Making a splash | The Gustavian Weekly

By Craig Nordquist Staff Writer | December 11, 2009 | Sports & Fitness

Gustavus Women’s swimmers prepare to dive off the block in a recent meet.  Sports Information.

Gustavus Women’s swimmers prepare to dive off the block in a recent meet. Sports Information.

The Gustie Women’s Swimming and Diving team has made quite a splash in the first half of the season, arguably putting up its best start since it last won the MIAC Championship two years ago.

The team’s latest effort at the Falcon Invite earned the squad a second place finish in a talented field of nine other schools.

“We have a lot of solid swimmers,” Senior Maggie Hansvick said. “We’ll be set if we can improve on the little things. If we do that, times will take care of themselves.”

Gustie Senior Carrie Gunderson and First-year Carley Mosher won two of the four MIAC Swimmer of the Week awards so far this season.

“I’ve been pretty impressed so far this season by our performance,” Mosher said, who broke the Lund Natatorium record in the 200 Backstroke against St. Olaf last month. “Everyone is always [thinking] positive and pushing others to train hard.”

The Gusties started the season with respectable finishes against Div. II teams Mankato State and St. Cloud State, and more recently knocked off MIAC rivals St. Olaf and St. Ben’s to cement their status as one of the frontrunners for the Conference crown.

“We didn’t know what to expect coming into the year because we didn’t know how the [first-years] would look,” Hansvick said. “They’ve been solid, and the upperclassmen have also had some great swims. We are very happy with where we are right now.”

The Gusties will fly to Puerto Rico the day after Christmas for the team’s annual training trip. While there, the team plans to train extra hard in order to prepare for the final stretch of the season.

“The training trip is always beneficial for the team,” Hansvick said.

“Spending a week with teammates and doing hard sets multiple times per day is really good for training and building relationships within the team.”

When the team returns from the sunny weather, it will be just over one month away from the MIAC Championship meet.

“I’m really excited to see what Conference will be like,” Mosher said. “We’re trying to push everyone to a level they’re capable of in order to finish [the season] strong.”

With only five meets left until the Conference Championships, Hansvick stresses that hard work will be the key to finishing the season strong.

“We need to focus on putting work in the whole way through, because other teams will be doing the same thing,” Hansvick said. “All of our hard training will pay off in the end.”

Mosher notes that another key to putting up a solid team effort is continuing the strong bond that has developed between the women on the team.

“We cheer a lot more than other teams, so there’s always plenty of support and involvement with our teammates,” Mosher said. “You really push yourself harder knowing that your team is there watching and supporting you.”

Hansvick agrees that the team has come together with very minimal conflict due in part to realizing the importance of working toward a common objective.

“We’ve been good at understanding that we have a common goal—to swim fast as a team,” Hansvick said. “The swimmers genuinely like their teammates and really want to do well for each other.”

The team is excited about its high number of top-tier swimmers at this point in the season, but realizes that it is their performance at season’s end that will define their success.

“We have a lot of people in the top times already, which is really great,” Hansvick said. “But it’s the times at Conference that get us [the title].”