The Colorado College men’s swimming team returned to the Schlessman Natatorium at the start of block three with a solid set of meets under their belt, ready to take on the 2012-13 season. The Tigers have their sights set on the SCAC Championship meet with strong leadership and young talent.
The team traveled to St. Paul, Minnesota over block break to compete against other Division III teams in the St. Thomas Relays at the University of St. Thomas. The early season travel meet is an annual tradition that allows the swimmers to compete against schools at their DIII level.
Prior to the Minnesota trip, the team had competed against Air Force Academy, Colorado Mesa University, and Colorado School of Mines in a meet at the Air Force Academy. Though the other teams at the meet were DII and DIII, CC was able to land three top-five finishes in three separate events. Freshman Colin Chupik finished second in the 100-yard butterfly, sophomore Chris Garrity finished fourth in the 100-yard backstroke, and freshman Robbie Adler finished fourth in the 100-yard breaststroke.
The young talent in the freshman class is due to “great coaching and great recruiting,” junior swimmer Grant Rice said.
The team has been competing outside of its official conference, the SCAC, thus far this season, but Rice has high hopes for their in-conference prospects.
Although the team will be competing without leading record-holder and recent graduate Jordan DeGayner ’12, Rice said his goal is to win the conference.
Senior swimmer William Bowers agrees that the leadership of the coaching staff provides has been instrumental in motivating the swimmers to give it their all.
“Ann is definitely hard on us, scary at times, but she pushes us,” Bowers said.
The coaching success goes beyond the head coach. Assistant coach Chris Sullivan, known to the athletes as “Twanky,” is a remarkable asset to the team.
“Twanky is amazing. He knows so much about the sport,” Bowers said.
Though injured, Bowers is excited for his senior season, especially because of the growth that the CC swimming program is experiencing.
“When I was first here there were only 16 men’s swimmers. Now there are 24 and [the program is] still growing,” Bowers said.
Coaching, however, has not been the only factor in drawing in new talent to the CC swimming squad. The new athletic facilities have played an enormous role in the increasing growth of CC athletic programs, swimming in particular.
With regards to the SCAC championship, Bowers has set his sights just as high as Rice for the SCAC Championship. According to Bowers, the effort to top Trinity and take the title comes down to depth. CC will tend to has taken the first and second place finishes in many of the individual races, but Trinity has managed to garner more points by taking more finishes in the fourth to eighth place range.
This year, however, Bowers thinks that CC has the depth to combat this flaw.
“Thanks to recruiting, we are gaining depth,” he said.
Will this be CC’s year in the SCAC champs? The Tigers in Speedos think so.
Upcoming competitors will include Adams State College, Metro State, Western State, Austin College, and University of Iowa. Come February, the team will leave the Schlessman Natatorium behind and head to Rockwall, Texas to take on the SCAC and compete for the conference championship.
In the meantime, let’s give our CC swimmers support at home and get loud in the Natatorium.
“It would be a lot of fun if more people came,” Bowers said.
The swim team will compete against Colorado School of Mines this Saturday, Nov. 17 at 10 a.m., followed by a series of events at home in December and January.