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Swim and dive debuts with easy win over Coe College

Evan Hein
Members of the swim and dive teams practicing in the Natatorium in the Charles Benson Bear ’39 Recreation and Athletic Center.

Grinnell College swimmers and divers dove headfirst into their 2023-2024 season, with the men’s team winning 202-7 and the women’s team winning 178-56 against Coe College. As the team works on building their individual skills, they reflect on what this first win means for the season ahead.

“It’s been a long time since a lot of us have been out at an actual collegiate level meet,” said Ethan Yuen `24, “So it was an interesting time for the first years to hop in and have a genuinely competitive meet.”

Yuen won first place in all three of his events — 200-yard individual medley, 100-yard breaststroke and the 200-yard medley relay — during the Oct. 27 competition against Coe College. Other athletes who took home a hat trick of victories in their events include Rommin Adl `26, Molly Ryan `27, Adam Feilmeyer `25 and Ciara Vogler `26.

Vogler emphasized that this tournament was all about self improvement for the team. “It’s not that it wasn’t competitive,” she said, “but I think there was a lot more focus on having fun, and how we were doing individually and making a more supportive environment.”

I think there was a lot more focus on having fun, and how we were doing individually and making a more supportive environment.

— Ciara Vogler `26

Antoni Staszkiewicz `27 and Benke Grobler `27 both set top-20 program records for Grinnell in the 1000-yard freestyle and 100-yard breaststroke, respectively. And with two first-year students breaking into rankings, head coach Matt Hedman said he sees the strides the team has made between their last inter-squad meet and now.

“To have that kind of improvement over two weeks is pretty crazy,” said Hedman, “So, pretty happy with that.”

Coe College is a smaller swim and dive team with too few men to compete in relay or diving events. According to Hedman, they are not Grinnell’s biggest competition this year as a result of this. Hedman, who is in his first year as a head coach, said that he appreciated going against Coe for this first tournament as the team felt less pressure and was able to focus on themselves.

“It’s a really good opportunity to see all the stuff we’ve been working on in practice … just to get some racing in,” said Hedman, “You’ll really have a lot of takeaways of small details that we can improve on. I think it was a good start overall.”

Much of the meet for Hedman, he said, was spent learning how to handle the logistics and ensure that everything ran properly.

“I was not worried about the swimming side of things. I knew all that was gonna go well,” he said. “It’s the behind the scenes of making sure we had everything set up so we could run a proper meet. I think seeing that and having a test run of that, I feel comfortable.”

For the team’s meets against Iowa Central Community College on Friday, Nov. 3 and against Luther College on Saturday, Nov. 4, Hedman said that he feels more prepared to keep things running now that he has a system in place.

“We’re definitely excited to jump into the season with Coach Matt,” said Yuen about competing in his first meet with a new head coach.

With one win under their belt, Yuen and Vogler both highlight the Midwest Conference Championships in February as a major competition to prepare for going.

“I think we’re looking ultimately towards conference, and hoping to do really well in that,” said Vogler.

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About the Contributors
Eleanor Corbin
Eleanor Corbin, Editor in Chief
Eleanor is a fourth-year political science major with a concentration in statistics. Nine out of ten times she is ready and willing to discuss embroidery, types of loose-leaf tea, and metal music. Best approached with her favorite candy, cherry Twizzler bites, in hand.
Evan Hein, Staff Photographer
Evan is a second-year psychology major from Kansas City, Kansas. He once had to ask his friends to describe him in one word for a psych project. 33% of the twenty-five descriptive responses were the word “ginger,” followed by a small chortle.
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