Swimming beginning their season’s meet by winning in the new pool


Narita Lambert

Sophomore Nick Phillips during practice in the new Lindberg pool on Oct. 28, 2021.

Stuti Shrestha

On Oct. 23, the swim team won against Monmouth in their season-opening meet in the new pool.

Women’s swim team captain, senior Lauren Raike, feels like the new pool has been a bonus for the team. “The new pool has been a big confidence boost for all of us,” Raike said. “There was the uncertainty of the pool being done, and now being able to successfully run the meet and win has been an awesome way to build a mentality and attitude.”

This year, the swim team has the biggest group of first-years they ever had with 10 girls and 19 boys, which makes up half the team. “We have lots of really fast freshmen this year, so with the new pool and this really big group of freshmen, we’re gung ho about swimming early in the season,” Raike said. “Winning the first meet has been a good jumping-off point.”

Sophomore swimmer Micaela Koeppen mentions that the swim team tries its best to make new swimmers comfortable and motivated. “We have a large number of freshmen, so our coaches push very hard for us to be welcoming to [them], and we’ve all been at that point, so we help them adjust,” Koeppen said.

Men’s swim team captain, junior Isaiah Valentine, thinks the win in the first meet is going to be a motivation for the whole team. “I’m thrilled about winning in the new pool. It is going to enable the team to grow so much more,” Valentine said. “I’m excited for the rest of the season to see how we do because this year we have a really good team.”

The new pool has lots of space compared to the old one, so the team has an opportunity to grow in their own specialized field. “We’ve been able to spread out in the new pool, which has changed the atmosphere of the team,” Valentine said. “People specialize in different strokes, so it’s been nice to be able to focus on the strokes since we have bigger space now.”

Senior swimmer Aviana Zahara had waited a long time for the new pool, and winning in the new pool has led her and the whole team to do better. “I heard about the new pool before I committed to Augie, and finally being able to swim and win in the new pool has encouraged us to achieve more,” Zahara said.

Swim team has been assigned a new assistant coach this year, and the team believes getting an assistant coach has given them the support they need. “This year, having an assistant coach has helped us. He brings a lot of things he’s done, learned and new techniques,” Zahara said. “We also have been able to break off into specialty practice which helps us to specialize in our things.”

First-year swimmer Kacper Cebula is thrilled to play in the new pool and believes his training will be helpful in future. “It was really awesome to win the meet and start off the new pool. When it’s race time, I trust in my training rather than questioning, which helps me a lot,” Cebula said. “We divide our groups, we do a sprint group, a distance group, and that really helps everyone get the most out of training.”

The added facilities and benefits have made the pool more captivating for the team. “It’s not just the pool only, we’re getting a therapy pool, team room, locker room and much more.” Koeppen said. “We have so much space in the new pool, we don’t have to be divided in teams for practicing, so it has helped us to do more.”

First-year Albert Buvary likes the new pool and feels his coaches and teammates have been encouraging and warm towards him. “I’m extremely excited,” Buvary said. “I really like the coaches. They are very supportive, and the practice and the teammates have been great too. We have done lots of team bonding before and during the season and we really got to know each other.”

The swim team looks to win their next meet on Nov. 6 against Illinois Wesleyan.