Swimming teams start season hungrier than ever


Giang Do

Members getting ready to swim on the starter blocks.

Gabo Luna

The Augustana men’s and women’s swimming team had a strong start of the season. Both teams secured a dominant win over Monmouth College and are excited about what’s to come. 

The season opener took place in Monmouth, Illinois. The men’s team was victorious by a score of 168-20, while the women’s team saw victory as well by a score of 167-36. Overall, it was a good meet to get the nerves out of the way and get the team’s confidence up. 

“We all came in with the goal of being undefeated this entire season and go to conference with the mentality to win,” junior Lorenzo Moreno said. 

There have been some changes since last year’s program. The team lost coach Leonardo de Oliveira, which caused some of the team members to be speculative as to who was going to replace him in this position. A change in the coaching staff is always difficult for a sports program. However, new grad assistant coach Leah Thomas came in as a perfect addition to the program.

“Leah is our new grad assistant coach, and she’s doing pretty well so far,” Moreno said.

In terms of the way the program has developed since last year, members of the team said that one of their main focuses was team bonding. Last year’s team saw a huge freshman class of both men and women, compared to this year’s incoming freshman. Nevertheless, team bonding will remain as important as it was last year to develop good relationships inside and outside of the swimming pool. 

“We’re all clicking. Team bonding is going well,” sophomore Kacper Cebula, CCIW men’s swimming athlete of the week, said. “Last year it was difficult with the huge class, even to get to know everyone in the team, but this year everything is going very well.”

The motivation towards this season is up there to win it all. The women’s swimming team had a historic season last year by winning the conference championship. Their last CCIW title was back in 1997. On the other hand, the men’s team wants to keep up and win it all this season. 

A male member passionately swimming. (Giang Do)

“We’re hungrier this year,” Holden Siena, sophomore and member of the team, said. “Last season, we sat on the side of the pool and saw the women’s team celebrate the championship. We all looked at each other and said we want that.” 

Competition among the team remains as one of the strongest assets the swimming team can have. 

“You’re not getting any better competition; we get the best possible competition you can have every single day at practice,” Siena said. 

Even though the competition in the team is tough, the relationships among team members are strong. 

“We love racing each other, I go to practice everyday to race my teammates and compete,” Cebula said. 

Both teams will be traveling to their second meet of the season at Illinois Wesleyan Saturday, Nov. 12, looking to improve their record to 2-0 and continue their strong start.