After a grueling four days, Augustana’s swimming team managed to walk away with a strong fourth-place showing at the NSIC championship for the second year in a row.
Despite having only three years of experience under its belt, Head Coach Lindsie Micko’s swim team continues to rise to the occasion in both the individual and relay events.
Taylor Beagle shattered her own NSIC record for the 1650-yard freestyle from last year by almost six seconds, finishing with a time of 17:02.46, and a team consisting of Emma Miller, Taylor Beagle, Kelsey Gilbert and Destini Oehlertz managed to win their first conference relay in the 800-yard freestyle with a time of 7:37.99. With over 30 top ten finishes and Beagle’s own gold, it’s safe to say that Micko’s team put on quite a performance.
Although everyone on the team wishes it could have done better or taken home the gold, Micko believes that this meet was her team’s best performance.
“You never really know what to expect until that first person dives into the water, but from the moment the first person dove into the water, we swam better top to bottom than we have at any other meet. It was an outstanding performance for four straight days.”
Likewise, Micko believes that the credit for the women’s success came from the players themselves. They supported each other, cultivating a team atmosphere that pushed everyone to their limit. Every time a teammate swims fast, it only encourages the team to perform better as a whole.
Even without a single senior on the team, the juniors were able to rise to the occasion and lead their teammates through to the bitter end. As Linzie Kriezel, one of those very same juniors, said, “We wanted to all get best times, win or place as high as we could, and perform better than the two previous years. We met many of those expectations. Most all of the events swam ended in best times, and even though we ended up placing fourth (the same as last year), we held 3rd place until the final session.”
Micko has managed to create a highly competitive team from young, inexperienced talent, and she has turned it into a capable swim team that continues to prove itself a viable competitor. This upcoming year should be the first real reflection of what a team headed by Micko is capable of as this will be the first time her team will have a full roster filled with freshmen through seniors.
Both Micko and her swimmers are in agreement that their main goal right now is to build on their skills as a team, to strive to be that much better for next year. Micko believes that their success will be determined by whether the team can continue to “maintain a phenomenal team atmosphere.”
If they maintain their positive mentality and continue to motivate one another, Micko, Kriezel, and the rest of the team are confident that they can have an even stronger conference showing next year that could potentially put several swimmers into the NCAA championship.