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Swim team vying for respect

January 21, 2011

With conference only a month away Monmouth swimmers are preparing for and critiquing their events. The start of the season brought a strong men’s and women’s team with a talented freshmen class for both.

According to coach Kurt Niemeier, “The women’s team has a strong sophomore and junior class with some solid freshman. The men’s team is smaller but still strong with a powerful junior class and promising freshmen.”

Sophomore James Corbeil commented on his team, “As a team we’ve hit some bumps along the road [but] the freshmen class is good.”

When asked how his personal season has been Corbeil replied, “I’ve gotten better since freshmen year.”

Swimmer Mia  DeSantis, commented on how the team’s chemistry has changed from years past.

“Last year and the beginning of this year our team was focused on personal times rather than the team as a whole. Thankfully we have gotten over that and now it’s the exact opposite.”

For DeSantis a personal highlight was her experimentation with a new event.

“I started doing new events this year. We were asked what our goals are for the season and I said I wanted a decent time in the 200 individual medley. As it turns I’ve been put in the 400 individual medley all season and my time has improved a lot. It’s a confidence boost,” said DeSantis.

At this point in the season the goal is to place swimmers in the events that suit them best and figure out a lineup that will bring success come conference.

Practices have been focused on retraining swimmers by correcting techniques and perfecting their style.  The team practices twice a day five days a week, and have recently added lifting as part of their routine.

DeSantis wants nothing more than for swimming to be recognized as a sport at Monmouth.

“A lot of star athletes are on the team that need to be valued for their talents,” said DeSantis. “We are not viewed the same way football, basketball or any other sport on this campus is. Swimming needs to gain more credit and respect from our peers and faculty.”

The Conference meet will be held from Feb. 18-20 at Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa. Both the men’s and women’s team are predicted to place third in conference.

Contributing Writer

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