Swim dives into a new season

By Harriet Siegrist (TheLorian)

Over 35 Duhawks dove into the San Jose pool water Monday, Sept. 22, marking the official start to the 2020-2021 swim & dive season. Although the season looks different after the announcement of no competition until Jan. 1, 2021, the team is still working hard for what is ahead. Looking forward into improving on the previous year’s finish at the Liberal Arts Championship, the team is also ready for all the challenges that comes with the sport. Last season, the women’s team placed 8 out of 11 teams at the championship meet, and the men’s team placed 6 out of 8 teams. Graduating only 3 women from the previous season, head coach Nick Wyllie is excited to return all of the men’s roster and most of the women’s roster from the previous season.

Wyllie is “really looking forward to continuing the progress from the returners that we made last year. We can really hit the ground running since there won’t be as much of an adjustment period. Along with that, I am super excited to work with the large incoming class, every single one of them has a ton of potential and it will be fun helping them go after the goals we set.”

Wyllie went on to say that “as far as goals go, I have specific team goals in mind with accomplishments but my main focus is keeping and building upon strong team cohesion. I want us to finish the season as an extremely strong unit that puts the team first.”

With 13 first-years and transfer students joining the team, everyone is looking forward to coming together and competing as one. First year Grace Van Petten from Glen Ellyn, IL is especially excited for her first season as a Duhawk.

“This season I am looking forward to becoming even closer with a team that will be my second family here at Loras. There are so many amazing people on the team I have met already, and I can’t wait to get to know everyone even more as the season goes on. I am also looking forward to improving all my strokes and hopefully becoming a more versatile swimmer. I made it one of my goals to swim every event at least once. Lastly, I’m looking forward to having the opportunity to swim again because it encourages me to stay healthy, physically and mentally. Going to swim practice is always the highlight of my day.”

First year Jon Broas from Winona, MN shares in van Petten’s excitement in the season. He looks forward to working towards his goals of “placing and scoring points for the team at the conference meet.”

Although there are no competitions until January of 2021, Wyllie and the team still looks forward to having their championship meet that is currently scheduled for February 10-13 at Coe College.

“Our training, mindset, and end of the season goals will be the same, but it looks a little different. We will have to do a lot more racing and testing in practice without dual meets, but it will almost be fun in a sense to just put our heads down and train and be ready to show off what we have been working on come Jan. We will take it one step at a time, but I believe we will still be very successful this season, said Wyllie.”

This season may look different than normal, but if anything is going to be true this year, it’s that the Loras swim and dive team will take on the challenges with resiliency and excitement that comes with the moments and hard work ahead.

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