With a schedule as irregular as Women’s Swimming and Diving’s, it can be easy to overlook just how well the Scots are performing this year. However, the Swim and Dive team, now over a month into its 2016-17 campaign, is swimming at an elite level. The team is comprised of both experienced veterans and promising rookies, and stands poised to have a truly special run this season.
To get a better feel for just what makes this new class of swimmers so exciting, I talked with Ariel Roghair ’20. “There are a lot of first years on the team this year, so it’s a really strong group with a lot of depth. A lot of us have been swimming a while and have a lot of experience,” the first year from Iowa City said. Even at this early juncture in the season, she’s been swimming times that are close to her personal records, which she thinks will allow her to finish the season swimming her best. She aims to make the finals at the MIAC Championship in February in either the 200-yard backstroke or the 200-yard butterfly, mostly because it will help “score some points for the team!”
While the team has been relying on its young athletes to produce, the upperclass swimmers are also competing as well as they ever have. The season began with a second place finish at the Roger Ahlman Invitational, held in our very own Riley Pool. The Scots’ hot streak continued with a third place finish at the Grace Goblirsch Invitational, and has extended into their most recent competition, the Jean Freeman Invitational. Hosted by the University of Minnesota, the meet was highlighted by Kaia Lund ’18 breaking the school record in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 59.69 seconds. Other standout performances included Franki Gillis ’20’s 22nd place finish in the 1-meter diving and a 16th place finish in the 200-freestyle relay by a team consisting of Roghair, Lund, Smaranda Georgescu ’17 and Ana Thompson ’20.
“The team has really come together and had a lot of fantastic swims early in the season. I’m excited to continue our season and see what the team can do at Conference,” Lund said about the season so far. As the Scots continue to smash the expectations set for their season, and with so many swimmers already qualified for the MIAC Championship, we can only wait to see what the women will do next.
The Scots’ next meet is at the Hall of Fame Aquatic Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on December 31.