The University of Indianapolis Swimming and Diving team heads into the new season with new confidence, according to senior swimmer Johanna Buys. Both of the swimming and diving teams were ranked No. 1 in the preseason edition of the College Swimming Coaches Association of America Division II Top 25 Poll, according to UIndy Athletics.
The support that the team has for each other is a big factor in their confidence, according to fifth-year senior and transfer swimmer Liki Prema. This is Prema’s first season with the UIndy swim team. He said that knowing that the team is atop the Top 25 poll gives them a more assured attitude.
“Going in with this mindset, it gives us a huge boost,” Prema said. “When a swimmer stands on the blocks, you don’t have to stress out about doing bad. You know that you’re good, that your team is good, [that] you’ve been training good; you have that confidence.”
Associate Head Coach Brent Noble, who has been coaching at UIndy for two years, said the level of commitment among swimmers is one of the things that makes coaching at UIndy so enjoyable.
“I love swimming, of course. I love the college experience and I love being able to be a mentor that students go through, but here specifically, I like the level of commitment and motivation that people who are dedicated to the sport as college athletes, but really even beyond,” Noble said. “There are a lot of people who are hoping to pursue more internationally based goals and that’s pretty exciting.”
Prema is one of the swimmers on the team with more international goals. He plans on attending the U.S. Open in December and getting a time that will qualify him for the worlds.
“I’m more of a long course swimmer, so short course yards, those are actually very good preparation for my sprinting in my long course,” Prema said. “So I really want to get the cuts for the worlds as well as the commonwealth games, which is going to happen next year, but that’s my major goal.”
Noble said he believes this is the best team they have ever had and wants the team to keep growing. They have finished third in the nation the past two years, according to Noble, and he said that his goal for the team is for them to finish better than previous years. The men have won conference three times in the past four years and the women were three points away from winning last year, according to Noble.
The women have been wanting to win conference for years now, according to Buys. She said that support from one another on the team should help them continue to get better.
“We’ve got some pretty good women in on the women’s side, fantastic men as well on the team,” Buys said. “So I think if we can help each other and motivate each other then we should have no problem being better than what we were last year.”
Noble said this year, the team has a greater knowledge of what they are capable of. With their team growing in size, he believes they can continue to get better.
“We get better pretty consistently. We have most [of our] swimmers back, we have a pretty big class of new swimmers so we have more ability in the pool,” Noble said. “I think we probably have a little bit more understanding of what is possible so I think we can keep doing more.”
The goals the team has set are mostly focused on being better than they were last year and improving individually, according to Noble. He said if everyone works towards their own goals then the team should continue to excel.
“We’d like to finish better than we did last year, but we’d like for everyone to develop and achieve the best of their own abilities,” Noble said. “So I think if everybody is doing that and able to genuinely commit to that, we’ll be just fine.”