Striving to reach their goal of winning nationals this season, the University of Indianapolis swim and dive team feels that this will be their year to step it up a notch, according to senior freestyle Demetrakis Haholiades.
The team has yet to win nationals, but they were able to place third last year, falling only a few points short of second place. This year, the team is making it their end goal to win nationals, according to Haholiades.
In mid-October, the team competed in the College Swimming Coaches Association of America where the men placed second behind the University of Charlotte Royals and the women placed seventh out of the other competing Division II teams. According to junior diver Payton Staman, the hard work being put in is what is going to help them make it to nationals.
“In terms of how the season is going so far, all of us have just been really hungry to take our team to the next level,” Staman said. “We saw some success last year, such as winning conference and then placing third at nationals. We think if we just keep trying and keep working our hardest, then we can keep continuing to perform… We just want to put all of that work and effort into making these years count.”
Even though the swim and dive team have different events, they are still one collective sport, according to Staman. The team has a few bonding activities, but a lot of it comes from the work they do like volunteering and supporting other teams, Haholiades said. Anything they do as a team always involves both swimming and diving members.
“Working with everyone else on the team and working hard, you kind of grow closer to them,” Staman said. “And then it makes a synergy that is bigger than any individual one of us.”
Not only does the team care about their sport, but they also strive to maintain a good GPA, according to Staman. Two years ago, the swim and dive team received an award for having the highest GPA in Division II. Head Men and Women’s Swim and Dive Team Coach Jason Hite began coaching at UIndy in 2016, and since then the GPA range has increased for the team.
“The GPA does play a huge factor for me,” Hite said. “I do want our team to be at about a 3.5 and I am very selective on all of the kids no matter if they are American or international… Out of all the teams competing at nationals, we had the highest team GPA. That tells us that we are doing the best. The people qualifying for nationals have had an average of a 3.7 to 3.8 GPA.”
The team will be traveling to Hawaii over winter break to attend a training camp for two weeks. These weeks will consist of three hours in the morning and two hours in the afternoon each day. They will compete there along with sightsee and visit the beach.
The team will compete in the House of Champions coming up on Nov. 16, where they will then be making their way towards achieving their goals at nationals and keeping standards met for grades as the semester comes to an end.