Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Ekberg breaks school record at Nationals

For the first time in 33 years, an Augustana swimmer, senior Jared Ekberg, competed at the National Division III Championship in Greensboro, North Carolina on March 21 through 23.
Ekberg finished 21st in the 100 backstroke preliminaries, 38th in freestyle preliminaries and 37th in the 100 butterfly preliminaries. He broke Augustana’s school record in the 100 butterfly with a time of :49.97.
Ekberg’s final school record rallies his total up to six overall individual records and four relay records during his career at Augustana. His record for the 100 backstroke was made at this year’s conference championship with a time of :49.06.
Augustana’s swimming head coach Dan Lloyd commented how Ekberg’s career was nothing short of spectacular at Augustana.
Jared is one of the most decorated swimmers in the history of our program. You couldn’t have scripted a better ending to a swimming career that has lasted 14 years and that has made a lasting impact on Augustana Swimming,” Lloyd said.
Since the national meet was Ekberg’s last collegiate meet, he cherished the moment instead of stressing out about the end result. This was advice he earned from Lloyd, who also finished his collegiate career at Nationals.
“I have no pressure to do anything special. I just have to do it,” Ekberg said. “The hardest part was getting to the meet and now I just have to soak it up for a bit.”
Ekberg has come close to the cut for Nationals in his previous three years competing. In his senior year, he finally made the cut after his record times at the conference championship in February.
“The last three years I made the B cut for nationals, so I didn’t quite make the cut. This year to finally do it, especially on the last year, is really rewarding and I’m really excited to do it. Mostly, I feel blessed to do it,” Ekberg said.
Preparing to go to Nationals was not too different than Ekberg’s normal practice routine. However, since conference ended right before spring break, he started prepping alone with Lloyd over the break.
When his teammates came back from break, they immediately began helping Ekberg in any way they could, whether that was by swimming with him or giving him pointers.
“I’ve had swimmers on the team come swim with me and make sure I’m not all alone, which has been really great,” Ekberg said. “It’s definitely something I’m not alone in, the coaches have been there the whole time.”
Lloyd emphasized how Ekberg’s journey has been a team process the entire time. The team is extremely close and they helped him every step of the way.
“Him making [Nationals] is not just about Jared, it’s about the entire program. He did not get there alone, he got there because of his teammates in and out of the pool,” Lloyd said. “I think that’s the difference that separates us from a lot of other programs is we focus on that team dynamic in and out the pool. We realize that we can’t do it alone.”
Along with his combined 10 school records, Ekberg finishes his Augustana career with two CCIW individual champion titles. He does not plan on continuing his swimming career in a professional setting, but he is thankful for all that collegiate swimming did for his life.
“It’s crazy how fast it went, I didn’t expect that,” Ekberg said. “It took a lot of time commitment, but it was worth it. I’ve gotten everything out of it and more.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Augustana Observer Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activate Search
Ekberg breaks school record at Nationals