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The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

Swim and dive team aims to make a splash at MIACs

Swim and dive team aims to make a splash at MIACs

With 49 students on the roster,  almost everyone at Macalester  College is bound to know someone  who spends their mornings and  evenings in Riley pool, doing laps,  dives and visualizing their strokes  while everyone else showers and  gets ready for the day. Led by  Head Coach Kyllian Griffin, the  Macalester men and women’s  Swim and Dive team boasts  an impressive 2023/24 season,  breaking numerous records and  emerging victorious at many  meets. 

This success bodes well for  the big meet next week: the 2024  MIAC championship, which takes  place Feb. 14-17 at the University  of Minnesota. The team is aiming  to place high this year, hoping to  repeat last year’s place in the top  three and bring home individual  victories in multiple races.  

“We have spent the last  five months becoming [better  swimmers], and MIACs will be  our opportunity to show off who  we are!” Assistant Coach Wilson  Josephson wrote in an email to  The Mac Weekly

In addition to winning races,  the possibility of making the  NCAA championships is another  motivator for swimmers racing  at the U of M next week. Every  year, the top 20 swimmers in the  country compete nationally in the  Division III championships. Last  year, Skye Schmit ’26 traveled  to Greensboro, North Carolina  to compete in the 200-yard, 500- yard and 1650-yard freestyle. The  sophomore is once again gunning  for a spot and is currently only 1  second away from a qualifying  time. 

As a whole, this season has seen  both team and individual successes.  The women’s team started off with  a win against Carleton, a team  that, before last year, Macalester  had historically fallen to. The  meet was undoubtedly close,  finishing 149.5-146.5 but showed  the team’s growth in the past year.  

Another major success was the  most recent meet, which occurred  on Jan. 27, when Macalester met  Grinnell. Although it ended in a  loss, with the Pioneers scoring 144  points to the Scots’ 129, the meet  finished the season with numerous  individual accomplishments.  Adam Schroeder ’25 and Claire  Stretanski ’27 both took first in  

the mile, moving Stretanski up  to 9th place in the MIAC for the  1650-yard free. Additional wins  came from Schmit taking first in  the 500-yard freestyle and second  in the 200 and Emma Henry ’26  winning both the 100 and 200-yard backstroke. 

During midseasons, at the  Roger Ahlman Invite hosted by  Macalester, the women’s team  placed 1st out of 4 teams from  Division III and the men 1st out  of 9, two exciting home pool  victories. Most notable, however,  was the show put on by Thomas  Moore ’27. Moore not only  swam to first place victories in  three individual events, but set  school records in all three races  in addition to breaking four more  in relays with teammates Casey  Meretta ’26, Charles Batsaikhan  ’25, TJ Palli ’26 and William  Haby ’27. The Scots took five  other wins, bringing their total to  854.5, almost 200 points ahead  of St. Olaf College, who sat one  place below them. 

The Gustavus Adolphus  College’s Grace Goblirsch Invite  brought along similar victories  for the Scots, especially for Izzy  Uhlhorn-Thornton ’26 who won  four individual events: the 100 and 200-yard breaststroke, the 100- yard butterfly and the 200-yard  medley. The Macalester women’s  team ended up placing 2nd in  the meet, scoring ahead of Saint  Benedict and Morningside and behind Gustavus themselves. Jocelyn Radke ’24, captain of  the team alongside Will Nicholson  ’24, Brian Pryzby ’24 and Isabel  Capecci ’24, says this season’s  success is especially notable.  “When I came to Mac, we were  pretty close to the bottom of our  conference, but [last year] we got  third place [at the MIACs and] I think we would love to be [there]  again,” Radke said. 

Josephson says these wins  come from the team’s skill and  enthusiasm to practice and push  themselves.  

“They are decidedly not  underdogs in this conference  anymore,” he wrote. “I think this  team feels about winning the  way a golden retriever might feel  about a peanut butter sandwich:  no expectation or entitlement, but  a deep desire and a willingness to  work for it.” 

As the Macalester swim and  dive team enters into the final week  before MIACs, nerves are high but  tensions are noticeably low. It’s  

clear that even though swimming  can be a very individual sport,  there is no lack of team support  regardless of success or failure. 

“We have a really close team,”  Schmit said. “At the end of the  day, if you aren’t doing great, you  just cheer for each other.” 

Josephson recognizes this  attitude as well.  

“I think — I hope — that no  one on our team really thinks  about winning as an individual  endeavor,” he wrote. “If an athlete  wins an individual event at MIACs  this year, it will be because of  thousands of small moments of  camaraderie and teamwork during  their time here.”  


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