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ISSUE 117 VOL 8 PUBLISHED 11/14/2003

Women clipped by Gustavus

By Julie Gunderson
Sports Editor

Friday, November 14, 2003

"It’s fun to swim fast," has been the mantra floating around the women’s swim team all preseason. Now that the season is finally underway, the Ole women are ready for some fun. Not only is the team out to defend last season’s MIAC title, they also plan to leave all potential challengers lagging in their wake.

Saturday’s seven point defeat to Gustavus was but a mere setback for the Oles, who know that the seven-month season that lays before them will be filled with many twists and turns.

"There are definitely things to improve on, I think in the next month we will focus a lot on technique." Rachel Van Scoy ’06 said.

Gustavus edged out the Oles by clinching a victory in the duals final event, the 400 freestyle relay race.

The weekend, however, wasn’t a total loss for the Ole women. Freestylist Carly Knoell broke a pool record in the 1000 yd race, finishing with a time of 10:59.94, making it the first time a MIAC female swimmer has finished the race under 11 minutes.

Katie Detwiler ’05 also won the 200 IM for the Oles.

Although the teams distance relay teams failed to take first place at the meet, their effort was not lost on their teammates.

"I’ve never seen girls with such determined faces as during the Animal relay [200 fly, 400 IM, 500 freestyle]," Van Scoy ’06 said. "If determination looked like a person, it’d be a distance swimmer."

Van Scoy admits that her opinion is biased, but adds "I’m a sprinter. I’m allowed to say that."

Failure to pull out the Gustavus meet has done little to spoil the Oles’ hopes.

"The strong swims that we have had already are promising for the months to come," Emily Love ’06 said.

The team, however, must still answer a few questions heading into the season. How will they replace All-American breastroker Anna Guenther and the three other top MIAC breastrokers that graduated last year?

"This season is going to be a struggle with breaststroke," Alisha Cowell ’06 said. "But hopefully we can overcome that with our depth in other events, like sprint and distance freestyle."

Not all changes from last year’s team have been bad for the Oles. Increased camaraderie among the women’s and men’s teams and promising performances by newcomers give the team hope for a successful year.

"The wonderful thing about this year compared to last year is that it's much harder to distinguish between the men's dynamics and the women's dynamics as individual groups," Van Scoy said. "It's a fun group of people all around, which is essential in sticking to a seven month sport with dedication and a good attitude,"

Returning divers Emily Koeck ’05 and Collin Cunningham ’05 head this year’s talent crop..

"We've got some incredibly talented div-ers, and we're working harder than ever. I think we have the potential to have people finish in the top five at the MIAC conference meet," Koeck said.

The team will have to adjust to the absence of Cunningham who will leave the team over Interim to study in South Africa. First-year diver Elizabeth Manning will step in for her.

The women will undoubtedly see their stiffest competition in the MIAC come from Gustavus and Carleton.

"Both teams have a lot of depth, and since we're short on breaststrokers, they will be able to gain some ground on us there," Love said.

Even with the lingering loss and remaining questions to be answered, the Oles are quietly confident.

"I don’t want to jinx us," Koeck said. "But I think we can take them."

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