Swim aims for seconds of success

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As the 2013-2014 swim season comes to a close, California Baptist University’s swimming and diving teams reflect on a successful first season in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II play.

Among these pace-setting Lancers are Nolan Brown and Josh Hanson. Earlier this season, Brown broke the pool record in Colorado and earned automatic qualification to the NCAA Division II National Championships. Recently, Hanson has been named the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference’s swimmer of the week for the second time this season.

Holly Cox, freshman business administration and software engineering double major and swimmer, said the team practices hard all week long, including Saturday morning practices as well. Cox said the team likes when Saturday practice is scheduled as late as 8 a.m.

“To other people (8 a.m.) is still pretty early, but to us that’s like noon,” Cox said.

Cox also said athletes are not the only ones who work hard to achieve a successful season such as this one. The coaches and trainers play a large role in the team’s achievements.

One member of the team who is seldom recognized but plays an important role, Cox said, is Liz Mortensen, the team manager.

“Our team would not function without her,” Cox said.

As team manager, Mortensen, junior sociology major, tells athletes when practices are going to be, where they will take place, what to wear and what to bring, among other responsibilities.

Team managers will even come to meets and practices to evaluate each individual swimmer and design workouts specific to them, Cox said.

CBU’s swim coaches not only provide technical instructions but also the encouragement to push swimmers to go faster and farther than they ever have before.

“Coach (Rick Rowland Jr.) always says, ‘Touch the wall first and show ‘em your Lancer finish,’” Cox said. “It’s his way of saying we’re going to win.”

Kylie Mihld, freshman exercise science major and swimmer, who trains primarily with Distance Coach Lisa Siregar, said how much Mihld has positively impacted her first season on the swim team.

Mihld also said Siregar helps the team realize that although they swim individually, each swimmer is crucial to the team’s overall success.

This dynamic of veteran Lancer swimmers, freshmen recruits and  their coaching and support staff are bringing the team to a new level of play this season.

“As many hours as we put in, it all comes down to a minute of whatever you’ve got,” Cox said.“We have the ability to win our conference eventually; not just win – dominate.”

About Matthew Swope

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