The men and women’s swim team is starting the season with new members, big goals and lots of yardage in the pool. The members look forward to getting to know each other better through team events and travel opportunities.
“At the beginning of the year, we go on a retreat to the Oregon coast, and all the old team members get to know the new team members,” sophomore Aidan Willers said. “A lot of team bonding takes place, and we leave with new friends and memories to last a life time.”
New swimmers on the team include freshmen Andrew Neilsen, Ian White, Jade Boyd, Caitlynn Duffner, Nikki Overton, Liz Fry, Ally Ortner, Caitlynn Fahlgren, freshman transfer Alec Greenaway and junior Daniel Palacios.
“We always have new talents, and this year we have spunky, enthusiastic freshmen. They are great at competing in the pool and at laughing after practice, and I have enjoyed getting to know them and train beside them,” senior Rhiannon Ladwig said. “These freshmen have brought a fresh perspective to our team’s training habits and competition level that I have not seen in my four years.”
“Ian White, on the men’s team, and Nikki Overton, on the women’s team, will be great additions to our team this year. They’re both very fast, and we’re excited to see what they can do for us,” sophomore Ian Coker said. “All our new additions to the team are great additions, and in a sport like swimming where it’s so easy to get lost inside your own head, it’s really nice to have teammates who are there to pick you up when you get down. We’re lucky as a team to have them.”
The team wants to finish in the top three or four at conference.
“Last year we swam pretty well, but I think this year we have a little more talent and some more continuity so we definitely have the potential to place higher as a team,” Coker said. “I think we’d also like to win a few more dual meets. We were pretty close to beating Pacific last year and we’d like to see if we could win a few more.”
Other goals include developing a more tightly knit and cohesive team. Willers said he especially wants everyone to feel included and important to the team.
Ladwig and senior Katie Main want to enjoy their last season encouraging the team both in and out of the pool and training harder than ever. Main believes the potential is there for winning conference.
“We are preparing for upcoming meets by training hard and setting a high bar for ourselves. The coaches have been strong in training our team, and we are doing more cross-training, which will help us become better athletes and help in the pool,” Ladwig said.
The team has done a few test sets, getting ready to swim at upcoming meets. The first meets will be Oct. 27 and 28 in Forest Grove, Ore., and Portland, as it starts off the Northwest Conference.
Kelsey Sutton/ Managing editor
Kelsey Sutton can be reached at email@example.com.