Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Swimming teams off to strong start

(Center) Marissa Jaskae swims a 50 of freestyle, on Tuesday, Nov. 27. Photo by Emma Gannaway.

Augustana’s swimming teams are off to a great start this year, with the women’s record at 4-0, and the men’s record at 3-1. Both squads are coming off wins against Monmouth earlier this month, on top of placing well at the Illinois Wesleyan Invitational.

Swimming is continuing the successful trends of years past, especially on the women’s side of the pool. Their 4-0 start is Augie women’s best going back to the 2013-2014 season where they went 6-1.
A big part of their success is from the younger swimmers, including first-year Lauren Raike who set a pool record at Monmouth, winning the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:59.39. She was accompanied by first-year Aviana Zahara, who set a pool record in the 100 freestyle with a time of :54.65.
Raike owns the Augie women’s record in the 200 breaststroke with a time of 2:29.53, and has her eyes set on the 200 IM school record. She’s second in the Augustana women’s top ten with a time of 2:12.34, and is in the top ten for four other individual events.
Being the talk of Augustana swimming, Raike talks about pressure that’s been put on her.
“Our coach is good at not putting pressure on us, but there is a little pressure in meets. There was some pressure to break the record for the 200 IM, but in the end it’s all about balance and not overdoing anything,” Raike said.
When talking about the team’s success, Raike put a lot of emphasis on teamwork.
“We have become a tight-knit team already which is very important,” Raike said. “It’s an individual sport but your teammates help motivate you.”
For her individual success, Raike talked about the motivation that fuels her.
“I know I’ve been doing this [swimming] for a long time. During hard sets, I remember I’m doing this for a reason. Some practices are tough but I’m able to push through knowing conference is at the end,” Raike said.
Raike and Zahara together are combined for six Augie women top ten finishes in their respected events, with Zahara’s coming in the 100 freestyle and 100 backstroke.
On the men’s side of things, senior captains Jared Ekberg and Bryan Haage are leading the way for the successful season for Augie.
Ekberg has raced into the Augustana men’s top ten for his performances in the 100 butterfly and the 100 backstroke. Along with winning his events, he wants to be a good leader for the team.
“Helping people and being a part of teammate’s swimming helps me. I want to set a good example for the rest of my team,” Ekberg said.
Haage has also made his way into the Augie top ten in the 200 IM, and spoke upon the success the team has had.
“The team does a great job in motivating each other, trying to help everyone do the best they can. I give it my all in every meet, trying to earn the most points for our team,” Haage said.
The swimming season is a long one, and Ekberg talked about what it takes to survive it.
“We try to take the season in parts. We have captain practices to stay in shape, then the season starts and we have morning practices,” Ekberg said. “We were lucky to spend fall break in California, and now we are here.”
The next step for the swim teams is the Wheaton Invitational. Ekberg talked about the mindset of the team going into it.
“We rested for it this year which is something we’ve never done. We usually rest for the last meet, but now we’re resting in the middle of the year to see where we are at. We’ll see if there is anything we can learn and it’ll be a good chance to see competition,” Ekberg said.
All swimmers will be geared and ready to go for the Wheaton Invitational on Friday, Nov. 30. Both teams will be looking to continue their hot starts and keep on dominating the competition.
Photo: (Center) Marissa Jaskae swims a 50 of freestyle, on Tuesday, Nov. 27. Photo by Emma Gannaway.

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Swimming teams off to strong start