Sports & Outdoors

Push toward NWC swim championship: Start to the season and leading up to break

A Logger swimmer comes up for air during the middle of the race. — photo courtesy of Logger Athletics

The men’s and women’s swim team have started their season competing in six meets thus far, three of which have been Northwest Conference duals. Most recently, the team hosted the Logger Invitational with eight other competing schools from in and outside of the Northwest Conference.

Senior, Aza Verhoeven (Boulder, Colorado) explains how the beginning of season has been going for both the men’s and women’s teams: “The team has been doing really well so far this season. The women’s team is undefeated in the conference so far. We beat a pretty fast team, Linfield, a few weeks ago. There have been great swims on both the men’s and women’s team so far this year.

There are eight returners on the men’s team and six first-years. For the women there are 21 returners and 11 first-years. Both teams have a considerably large first-year classes, meaning the integration process may be more challenging because of the large number of new swimmers.

However, Emma Staton, a senior from Broomfield, Colorado describes the chemistry and integration of first years: “I feel like the team chemistry this season is really good. Everyone is excited to be swimming. We have had dinners and movie nights that bring the team together for bonding. The freshmen just jumped right in and I would say they are fully included in all the things we do.”

Junior Dylan Reimers believes “the team chemistry this season is the best I’ve seen. The freshmen integrate themselves into the team within days and it feels like we’ve been swimming together for years.” This chemistry will help the team succeed.

The Logger Invitational, Staton states, is “a pretty big meet. … we are all super excited because it gives us some good competition.”

Last season the women Loggers finished conference placed fourth and the men’s team finished fifth. Both teams hope to continue to improve, grow as a team and finish with a higher rank than the previous year.

“The women’s team is looking to place higher than last year at conference. Additionally, for people to go personal bests and have a fun season,” Verhoeven said.

Additionally, Reimers describes the team’s hard work and training in the pool. “Everyone is at the point where we are very sore and tired from training but this past week, we tapered down in hopes to catch College of Idaho in the meet this weekend.”

The women’s and men’s teams both finished fourth out of all eight teams. Out the of eight teams, three of the teams were high level Division II or NAIA teams, which arguably increases the level of competition.

The women’s 200-yard medley relay which consists of Verhoeven, Kelli Callahan, Calista Skog and Erin Jenkins placed second out of 16 teams. Callahan won the women’s 200-IM and 400-IM. The men’s 800-freestyle relay team placed fourth out of 14 teams. The team consists of Brett Kolb, Eli Champagne, Ian Conery and Eric Markewitz.

Verhoeven speaks to how the coaching staff hopes to help both swim teams improve and swim faster: “The coaching staff are expecting fast swims this weekend, additionally, hard work in the pool and in the weight room in order to be the best we can be.”

Next, the swim team will compete in California against Whittier for a non-conference dual meet on Jan. 8.