Although the season is still young, the Gustavus women’s swim and dive team have high hopes for the year as well as an impressive record to build upon. With three consecutive MIAC Championship titles as well as two first places finishes at the Saint John’s/Saint Ben’s Mini Invitational and the Morningside Invitational, they are gearing up for a successful year.
“This is the biggest women’s team we’ve ever had. We have a lot of talent and good people on the team this year,” Head swim and dive coach, Jon Carlson said.
Being that the team is so large, there are many opportunities to mix up which swimmers will be racing the various events in hopes of securing faster times and more wins.
“It’s going to be interesting to see who ends up swimming what at our final meets since we have so many people who can do so many events well. In terms of improvement I think we just need more time to fix the little things. We’re working on our turns and technique every day in practice and when it all comes together after some more rest I think it will all fall into place,” senior Anna Eames said.
Working on smoothing out the small kinks and putting the right athletes in the right events are the key concerns for the women’s swim and dive team this year. Although the team’s goals may seem ambitious, with enough focus and hard work, they are confident in their ability to keep Gustavus ranked at the top.
“We’d like to make a run at repeating as conference champions and to have a presence at the NCAA championships. Mostly, I just hope everyone drops time. If we are successful in that, the winning will take care of itself,” Carlson said.
While this is a common goal amongst the entire team, this year’s seniors are especially excited about the idea of winning the MIAC Championship for the fourth year in a row as a nice way to cap off their four years on the team at Gustavus.
“The ultimate goal for the whole team is to win the MIAC, whether you are on the conference roster or not, we all want the Championship title for the fourth year in a row,” Senior Shannon Tschida said.
With the Jena Freeman Invitational, Carleton meet, Grinnell College Invitational, home meet against Saint Thomas, MIAC Invitational and MIAC Championships ahead of them the women’s swim and dive team still has most of the season to bolster their strongest athletes in order to accomplish all of their goals. Additionally, there is the team training trip, which many of the athletes look forward to as a chance to train harder and have fun.
”The training trip is going to be in Florida this year and that is always really fun. We work so hard and get our butts kicked but it is still fun to bond with the team between practices, and of course, eat as many calories as we possibly can,” Eames said.
Although there are many goals in terms of times to beat, events to place in, and championships to win, Carlson gets the most satisfaction out of seeing the team succeed in both their hard work and dedication to the team. “I enjoy seeing how this team grows as a unit. With good leadership and a willingness to have everyone buy in to what we are doing, this group could really do some special things,” Carlson said.