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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Swimmers, Divers begin season at home

After over a month of training, the Grinnell Swim team will begin their competitive season this weekend with meets against a club team from the University of Nebraska in Grinnell on Friday and against Augustana College in Rock Island, Ill. on Saturday.

“This is a really great weekend,” said Women’s Team Co-Captain Meghan McDoniel ’10. “It’s good practice for back-to-back meets which we have a lot each season.”

After a time trial, an intrasquad meet and an alumni meet, the Ducks and Dogs, as the Women’s and Men’s team respectively call themselves, are ready to face some real competition.

“Just to get out there and swim against some other swimmers than each other is going to be really good for us,” said Men’s Team co-captain Paul Gagne ’10. “The people we are swimming against are definitely smaller teams than us and it should be a really good starting off point.”

The meet on Friday is one of four home meets this season—something the team sees as both an advantage and a special opportunity. Not only does the team get to sleep in their own beds, but the normally empty bleachers in the natatorium are filled with friendly faces and the entire team gets to compete. Additionally, while the number of bus seats limits the number of swimmers able to compete in away meets, the entire team can participate at home.

“You know we’ve seen some less than desirable pools at meets away,” said Men’s Team co-captain Anders Ahlberg ’10. “But at home we have some pretty good support. It’s nice to see people come out and cheer us on.”

Overall, Head Coach Erin Hurley feels that both teams are ready to make a statement this weekend.

“The team is excited to compete, and that is always a good thing,” Hurley said.

Hurley expects Saturday’s meet against Augustana to be the more competitive of the two meets and consequently a good indicator of the team’s physical preparation. However, the team has a blank slate right now and most of the focus will be on the right foot, or—more appropriately—stroke.

“I think at this point we are just trying to get our bearings,” Morgan Bober ’12 said. “It’s difficult to set expectations when we don’t really have a starting point.” 

As for beyond this weekend, Hurley scheduled several tough teams in order to prepare for the competition of the Midwest Conference Championship meet in February.  

“We might not be at the top of the conference in many events, but we are a deep team, that is, we have many swimmers that can score points and contribute.” Hurley said.

In addition to their ability, the mindset of the team certainly reflects the dedication of the team.

“I think that we’ve been having high quality practices and that everyone seems really focused,” Women’s Team Co-Captain Amy Hadow ’10 said. 

Both teams have a goal of bringing home another MWC Championship, and that means treating every race as an opportunity, starting with this weekend. 

 “Sure, some meets will be tough but we want to view each race as a practice for conference,” McDoniel said.


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