Men’s and women’s swim and dive ready to set the water on fire at championships


Contributed by Ted Schultz

At the Grinnell Mini-Invite on Feb. 4, Theo Mott `24 (above) won the 200 Y freestyle with a time of 1:47.76.

Oliver Wolfe, Staff Writer

With just days to go, the men’s and women’s swim and dive teams are getting ready for the rapidly approaching Midwest Conference championships, which are set to take place at the end of this week.

Also at the Grinnell Mini-Invite, Andi Fox `23 (above) won the 200 Y individual medley with a time of 2:21.96. (Contributed by Ted Schultz)

“It’s an exciting time,” said Erin Hurley, head swimming and diving coach, before adding, “for some, it’s a little nerve-wracking.” An accurate assessment, accord- ing to Sarah Lopez `26, who said, “there’s butterflies in my stom- ach, and they’re ready to fly out.”

Despite the feeling of pressure, the conference championships are exactly what the athletes have been training for all season, according to Hurley.

“It’s the culminating performance. They’ve been practicing for 18 weeks,” she said. “Now, it’s time to show up and perform.”

Both the men’s and women’s teams have had successful seasons so far, leading 5-1 and 4-2, respectively. “We’ve had some really good swims and some good diving performances throughout the season,” said Hurley. She said that they are looking to keep that momentum going and deliver a strong performance at the championships.

To prepare, the teams have slowed down their intensive training and practice schedules and instead are focusing more on visualization and reaction time training.

“I finally get to rest, so that I can give it my all,” said Lopez.

I finally get to rest, so that I can give it my all.

— Sarah Lopez `26

In recent years, the men’s swim and dive team has dominated, having won the last six consecutive Midwest Conference titles. They are looking to keep the streak alive and take home their seventh.

Hurley said she feels that they are well-positioned to do so, saying, “On the men’s side, we have probably our most competitive team that we’ve had in my tenure. We’ve already broken a relay record during [our] season, which we’ve never done before.”

Hurley also said she feels optimistic about the women’s team, pointing to their improvement throughout the season, but their success will have to be earned. “Our women are competitive and strong, but so are some other schools in the conference, as well,” she said.

We’ve had some really good swims and some good diving performances throughout the season.

— Erin Hurley, head swimming and diving coach

Among the teams’s strengths is their cohesiveness, which they will look to use to their advantage. “It doesn’t necessarily come down to who has the most individual wins,” said Hurley. “It takes the entire team, and everyone has an opportunity to contribute.”

The championships are set to begin at 10 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 17, and it will continue through Sunday, Feb. 19 at the Russell K. Osgood Natatorium. “If you want to see the water on fire, the conference championships is where it will happen,” said Hurley.

More information and a complete schedule can be found at the Grinnell Athletics website.