Although the last dual meet of the season against Lewis University was canceled due to inclement winter weather on Jan. 25, the University of Indianapolis men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams did not let that road bump slow the winning momentum they have built this season.
“We did not get the day off. We got in [the pool] and continued to train,” said senior Julia Madeira. “We cannot afford to take days off this close to the [Great Lakes Valley Conference] Championship.”
While the Greyhounds took to the pool to get prepared for the upcoming conference championships, they were disappointed not to be competing against the Flyers that day. The teams were looking to continue their winning steak after pulling off an impressive victory over former conference rival Grand Valley State University, which was ranked No. 1 in the nation earlier in the regular season.
“We never really let them [Grand Valley] into the meet,” said Head Swimming and Diving Coach Gary Kinkead. “We had a pretty sour taste in our mouth from last year. When we went up there last year for the dual meet, they pounded us pretty good. I think the guys [and girls] still had a little bit of a chip on their shoulder about that competition. They were very well prepared mentally, and not because the coaching staff was trying to get them mentally prepared. They were getting themselves mentally prepared. These guys [and girls] were highly motivated to take on Grand Valley, and they did a good job.”
The win over Grand Valley State not only continued the men’s and women’s season-long dual meet winning streak, but it also provided both the men’s and women’s teams with an increased ranking among the top ten NCAA Division II collegiate teams in the nation, according to CollegeSwimming.com.
The victory also gave Madeira her third GLVC women’s swimmer of the week award and junior Justin Rossillo his first for the men’s title.
When it came to what has driven the women’s success this season, Madeira said, “I think if I were to point out something, it would be the team overall. The girls team has been together, cheering each other on, supporting each other and leaving the differences at the side. It’s hard to do that.”
Rossillo gave credit to the men’s freshman teammates for helping push the upperclassmen along.
“When you get freshmen guys that are pretty quick, you like to train with them, and it really improves the practices,” Rossillo said.
Kinkead also gave credit towards this year’s freshman class.
“This freshman group seems to have altered the attitudes of some of the juniors and seniors and brought them around,” Kinkead said.
With an undefeated dual meet record, the UIndy swimming and diving teams’ future appears promising, as they gear up for the GLVC Championships that take place Feb. 12-15.
“We’ve been a very, very good dual meet team. There is a difference between a good dual meet team and a good championship meet team. I want to see us be a good, strong championship meet team,” Kinkead said. “We’ve let it shine during the season. It’s really time to see if we can let it shine for the championship season, for conference and nationals.”