Mac swimming and diving starts season with a splash

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To say that the Macalester Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving teams have enjoyed solid starts is an understatement. The 2012-2013 teams have already demonstrated immense strength and have high hopes for the rest of the season.

The women, captained by Suzanne Oh ’13 and Renee Jordan ’14, are currently 2-0 in dual meets, having defeated UW-River Falls (123-102) on November 2 and St. Mary’s (112-83) on November 16. The Lady Scots placed second out of five teams at the Augsburg Pentathlon, which took place on October 20. The women placed third out of eight teams at the Roger Ahlman Invitational on November 17.

The men, captained by Ted Metz ’13 and Domi Lauko ’14, are 1-1 in dual meets. The men lost to UW-River Falls (73-154) but defeated St. Mary’s with a score of 89-54. The Scots placed second out of three teams at the Augsburg Pentathlon and second out of five teams at the Roger Ahlman Invitational.

“The swim and dive season started off great,” Oh said. “We have a solid returners and our freshmen make the team really extraordinary.”

Coach Beth Whittle echoed the senior captain.

“I think the fact that the women won their first two dual meets of the season is a great start and has the women fired up. We have had a number of lifetime best times already this season which makes the team excited,” Whittle said.

Last year, the Mac women finished 7th in MIAC out of 11 teams and the men placed 7th out of 8 teams.

“On the men’s side, we’ll be striving to move up as well in the Conference,” Whittle said. “We are looking to become more and more competitive each season, and with a strong first-year group of men, we are poised to do so.”

The same applies to the women’s team. Even though the women graduated a large group of talented seniors last year, Whittle said she “can already see that both our first-years and our returners are competing well and set up to improve upon our finish from last year’s MIAC Championship.”

The swimming and diving season is long — the first meet took place on October 13, and MIAC Championships conclude on February 16, 2013 — so closeness of teammates is critical.

“We are a very tight-knit group. We are really looking forward to going to Fort Lauderdale over Christmas break for a week of hard training,” Metz said.

Oh agreed. “We’re pretty close but J-term is when we usually really click. During J-term we spend a gross amount of time together.”

As part of the men’s and women’s training, the team travels for a week during J-Term to train somewhere warm. This year the team will travel to Fort Lauderdale, Florida in January before returning to Minnesota for their usual training routine.

Practicing five days a week—sometimes twice a day with lifting—and competing nearly every weekend, the swim teams make it a priority to make sure academics don’t falter during the busy season.

“Academically, the team strives to be one of the top teams awarded by the CSCAA (College Swim Coaches Association of America), based on team GPA for women and men,” Whittle said.

As the Fall semester competition wraps up for the team with this weekend’s St. Thomas Invitational, the team looks ahead to J-Term and next semester. The season has started strong, but next semester, the team will lose three valued members: “I’d say that doesn’t hinder us. We still have a great group of teammates that are record holders and just overall wonderful people,” Oh said.

To top it all off, “We are by far the most attractive team on campus,” according to Metz.

Oh added, “Our team is made up of models. Beautiful models with big shoulders.”