Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augie Swimmers Ready to Dive Into Season

The Augustana Men’s and Women’s swimming and diving teams opened up their season last Friday with a dual meet versus St. Ambrose.

Despite only practicing for three weeks, the women celebrated a first place win against the St. Ambrose Bees while the men placed second at the meet. Even though they took first place, the women agreed with the men that they felt the effects of a shortened pre-season due to the semester transition.

“That first week of practices, our coach slammed us,” senior captain Gabrielle Ainsworth said.

However, those practices along with a first-year class pushed the team to perform well in the meet. “We’re slowly getting more and more depth to our team…each class has stand out people now,”  Ainsworth said.

Sophomore Lauren Raike was one of the reasons that last year’s season was so successful. As a first-year, Raike took down two individual records at last year’s conference championships, but she has her eyes on the season ahead.

“We’re all excited for this season just because we did see such a successful season last year and we want to repeat that. The addition of these new freshmen that are very strong will be really beneficial for team morale.”

According to Raike, the returning team MVP from the women’s squad, the team is looking to improve on last year’s performance by getting more women finishing in the top of the conference this time around.

The combination of an experienced returning squad with the addition of a talented incoming class will prove to be a recipe for success for the swimmers this year. But building great team chemistry has also been a focus for the team.

Senior swimmer Adam Smith has a similar attitude when it comes to the men’s team.

“It’s my last year…it’s a long ride. I want to have fun with the team and I want to build a strong bond with the guys,”  Smith said.

Smith, like Ainsworth, is one of the captains of the team. Both expressed similar sentiments towards their new roles this year.

“This year, being the one coming back with the experience, I’m finding it more important to push people and hold them to the expectations of the team…but otherwise still trying to be goofy and supportive and trying to be a little more vocal,”  Ainsworth said.

The Vikings hope to use their experience and team chemistry to maintain a winning mentality throughout the long season that extends all the way into February. But for now, their focus is on their upcoming swim meet at home versus Millikin and Knox.

Raike believes the home advantage will be valuable in this upcoming meet. “[Having] that extra support behind us [will make] it a lot easier for us to step up to the plate and perform better,” Raike said.

For the men’s team, Smith believes better preparation in addition to a good support system will lead to a great showing for the Vikings.

The Vikings will have the chance to test their abilities next week on Oct. 26 when they host Millikin and Knox at the Carver Center.

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Augie Swimmers Ready to Dive Into Season