Macalester Women’s Swim and Dive competed in their final meet of the first academic semester last weekend, Dec. 1 and 2. They took the trip down Grand Avenue to participate with other MIAC teams in the University of St. Thomas invite.
Highlights of the meet included second- and third-place finishes by Francesca Gillis ’20 in the 1-meter and 3-meter dives, respectively, as well as a sixth place finish in the 100-yard butterfly by Kaia Lund ’18 and a seventh place finish in the 200-yard backstroke by Ana Thompson ’20.
Lund’s performance was even more impressive considering that she was under the weather. “She was pretty sick last weekend, and she swam all the hardest events and absolutely killed it,” Liv Borgmann ’19 said.
Perhaps most importantly, a number of the women qualified for MIAC Championships in February based on their performances.
The meet was the cap on what has been a productive and growth-filled first semester for the young (two seniors, one junior) team who have a short holiday break before they travel to Fort Lauderdale, FL to swim against St. Olaf College on New Year’s Eve as part of the team’s annual Florida trip.
The team feels a combination of excitment and anticipation for their trip. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that it’s just a vacation to avoid the Minnesota cold.
“Training trip is going to kick our butts, as it’s supposed to. J-Term is going to kick our butts, as it’s supposed to.”
– Molly Lloyd ’18, describing the month of January.
“Training trip is going to kick our butts, as it’s supposed to,” Molly Lloyd ’18 said. “J-Term is going to kick our butts, as it’s supposed to. It’s a lot of work. Especially, not to downplay what the divers do, for the swimmers because they have doubles practices every single day. It’s a lot of team bonding. It’s a lot of suffering through the same hard sets and the same hard practices, making it to the end and beling like ‘OK, let’s do that again.’”
With a season that begins in the middle of a semester, J-Term acts as a de facto training camp for the swimmers. This includes a week in Florida, where the team spends six hours a day in the pool.
“It’s definitely very, very hard,” Gillis said. “I know a lot of people die a little bit, but at the end it’s like, ‘That was great!’”
Unfortunately, the team won’t have much time to enjoy the weather. “We don’t do any of the fun stuff. We have a little bit of beach time in the middle of the day, but it’s a lot of swimming and core,” Borgmann said. When the team does get to the beach, it’s hard to imagine that they’d want to swim any more than they already do. “We’ll float in the ocean,” Borgmann said. “Minimal movement.”
“Lots of beach pics,” Lloyd said.
Adding to their busy J-Term, the Scots will be participating in the Meet of Saints on Jan. 13, which will also be held at the University of St. Thomas.
After a strong 2016-2017 campaign, which included broken records from Lund in the 100-butterfly, Smaranda Georgescu ’17 in the 100-freestyle and Thompson, Borgmann, Lund and Georgescu in the 400-medley relay, expectations were high for this season. But the consensus on the team is that they are more prepared now than they were at this time last year.
“Everyone’s having a really good season so far,” Lloyd said. “People are further along at this point in the season then they were last year. People are reaching their goals a lot more quickly than I think they were supposed to.”
Borgmann, in a separate interview, gave almost the exact same sentiment.
“The improvement from this time last year is so big,” Borgmann said. “I think we have a better base of training under us.”
Borgmann also noted that the team had benefited from the addition of new staff. “We have two new coaches this season, Allie (Clark) and Wilson (Josephson). They’re amazing,” Borgmann said.
The team’s goals are clear: “If things go as they’ve been going I think everyone is going to do the best they can and hopefully qualify for conference,” Lloyd said.
The Scots have five more meets until the MIAC Swimming and Diving Championships. The championships are held from Feb. 15 to 17 at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center. If any Scots qualify, they will go on to the regional competition on Feb. 23 to 24. The NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving Championships will be held in Indianapolis, IN from Mar. 14 to 18.