The Wildcats have competed in six events so far, and head coach Gary Gutierrez said he has been pleased with how the men’s and women’s teams have performed.
“We’re doing good. We are down this year and we lost a lot of talent,” he said. “They are working hard and have their noses to the grindstone racing hard.”
The Wildcats opened the season at home in the NWC relays on Oct. 30, and they placed sixth in both the men and women’s events. After that, Linfield competed in its first two conference meets against Pacific Lutheran University and the University of Puget Sound on the Nov. 12 and 13, respectively.
The men lost to Pacific Lutheran 64-139, while the women lost 62-143.
While the scores may not show it, sophomore Rachel Codd thinks the team is making strides in the right direction.
“I think the team has swam well so far considering that we have been working hard,” she said. “I think we have a lot of people getting faster, although it might not show in their performances at this point in time.”
After a week of practice and recovery, Linfield headed to the Northwest Invitational in Tacoma, Wash. Both the men’s and women’s teams finished in fifth place out of the six teams at the meet. Sophomore Katie Main said she was happy with the teams’ efforts.
“We were really supportive and many of the swimmers really stepped up during a long meet to have some good swims for this time in the season.”
As the season rolls along, the Wildcats aim to improve and win some meets.
While winning individual events is great, Gutierrez pointed out that they don’t have to win every event to be successful.
“My first year here, we won the men’s conference championship and only won two individual events,” Gutierrez said. “The team knows that you can not win any individual event but still win the meet.”
Lee Rivers is a promising freshman on the men’s side, and Main and Codd have shown potential on the women’s team.
Codd also said that Gutierrez does a great job making sure the team has a good time but also swims well.
“Coach Gary [Gutierrez] is really enthusiastic about what he does, which is really motivating. He loves to joke around, so he brings a great sense of humor to the team,” Codd said. “He knows how to push us to the limits of what we are capable of doing, even if we don’t think we can do something.”
The Wildcats have several road trips coming up on their schedule. Their next home meet takes place at 1 p.m. on Jan. 29 against the Pacific University Boxers.
Jerry Young/For the Review
Jerry Young can be reached at email@example.com.