Swimming prepares for conference, men look for first GLVC title
The University of Indianapolis men’s and women’s swim teams competed on Jan. 30 in celebration of Senior Day. The Greyhounds will graduate 11 seniors this season, but prior to that, the two teams will compete at the Great Lakes Valley Conference Championships. Senior Alan Horback is looking forward to seeing what the men can do at conference.
“I think this is the fastest team that I’ve personally had in my four years at UIndy,” Horbak said. “And I think that’s a really great thing to have going forward [into conference]. And we have a lot of people that are going to contribute in various ways.”
On Senior Day, UIndy honored Ana Couto, Michelle Mikaelsson, Maddy Mahoney, Hannah Schuster, Katy Sonksen, Karolina Szymaszek, Natelie Todd, Marius Bornkessell, Horback, Dawid Rybinski and Jackson Thomas. The men competed against University of Missouri-St. Louis, and the women took on Butler University and UMSL. The men topped the Tritons 190-37. The women scored 175.5 compared to UMSL’s 37 and Butler’s 10.5, taking the win over both teams. Schuster said that Senior Day snuck up on her and now conference is right around the corner.
“I mean, it was kind of surreal. You know, four years ago you had your Senior Day in high school, and that doesn’t seem so long ago at all,” she said. “And it’s like, ‘Wow, we’re done—last home meet, last time I’m going to race in this suit here’. And then conference is in a week and a half. It all just happens so fast, and it kind of sneaks up on you, and you don’t really realize it.”
Overall, the Greyhounds won 25 of the 26 events, and set four NCAA provisional marks. For the women, junior Agnieszka Malecka, Mahoney and Mikaelsson each contributed two wins. The three, along with freshman Becca Haussin, took first in the 200-medley relay.
For the men, newcomer freshmen Rodrigo Codo Berti and Kyri Papa-Adams collected all four of the NCAA provisional marks. Papa-Adams and Codo Berti both competed in the 200 free, where Papa-Adams took first with 1:40.40 compared to 1:41.42. Papa-Adams earned his second “B” cut time in the 500 free with a time of 4:37.14, while Codo Berti took first in the 100 back in 49.19. Codo Berti’s time was the second fastest time in program history.
These two are not the only newcomers to the team this semester. Also joining the team are freshman Chris Gurski and junior Marijn van Zundert. Despite spending less than a season with the new swimmers, Horback is appreciative of their presence.
“I think they’re great,” he said. “They’re all kind of from different parts of the world, so it’s interesting seeing their cultures and what they bring to the team. But overall, we challenge ourselves in the pool, and we push each other. And I think they’re great fits for us.”
Head Swimming and Diving Coach Jason Hite also sees the impact that these newcomers can have on the team and what it can mean for the future.
“The guys are very aware of the impact that these four newcomers can have,” Hite said. “Does it make it competitive? Yes. There’s no cattiness, there’s no worries, there’s no ‘I’m not accepting of you because you might come in here and take my spot on a relay’ or whatever it may be. The team that’s been here knows that these guys are here to help. They’re Hounds, and they’re all in.”
As the Greyhounds prepare for conference with their new swimmers, they are tapering. According to Schuster, the team cuts down on yardage and will increase the intensity of certain workouts, while putting more emphasis on doing things off the blocks and doing things faster. Along with that comes getting more rest and eating healthy, Schuster said, as she began to think about her expectations for conference.
“For me, personally it’s really important—because I’m going to be done after this [year]—[that I] end on a strong note with fast times, so that you don’t regret anything,” she said. “You want to go out with a bang. So I’m really focusing on trying to drop a lot of time, hopefully getting my times down to where I would be invited back to nationals.”
Heading into conference, Hite has high expectations for his teams.
“My expectations for GLVC are to qualify as many people as we can for the national championships. And then on the men’s side, we want to win. Flat out, we want to win,” he said. “The men’s program here has never won a conference title, and we have the opportunity to do that this year, and it’d be something sweet, especially since it means we’d be beating my alma mater [Drury University]. On the women’s side, I think that we go in there with the mentality that there’s no expectation as far as team placing. I think we go out there and we race, and we see what happens.”
Horback acknowledges that despite tapering, they will be tired heading into conference, but he wants to regret nothing.
“I think we’re preparing in a lot of ways. A lot of it’s mental. Our bodies are going to be what they’re going to be, so it’s not just the little things we need to work on,” Horback said. “…When we finish conference, we want everything to be in that pool, and I think that’s especially true for me. This is my last meet. I want to leave it without any doubt that I did what I could do.”
The men’s and women’s teams will travel to Crawfordsville, Ind., to compete in the GLVC Championship Feb. 10-13.