By John Stickels
The men and women’s swim team will begin their season tomorrow where they will be competing against Trinity University. The teams express confidence that this meet will be the beginning of a successful season.
“Our men’s team really doesn’t like Trinity,” sophomore Garret Holody said. “We usually lose to them really badly, but with our new coach I feel like we have a good chance of beating them now.”
This year is head coach Jon Duncan’s second year at Southwestern. Coach Duncan left former conference competitor Rhodes College to join the Pirate team last August.
“I’ve been coaching for eleven years at very similar institutions,” Duncan said. “I came to Southwestern because I feel like I can build something special here within the next few years. There’s a lot of special things happening here right now within the University.”
Duncan has worked hard over the last year to maintain a strong recruitment of capable first-years.
“Coach [Duncan] recruited some real all-stars. We doubled the size of the men’s team this year,” said Holody.
Despite the fact that half of the men’s team is made up of first-years, the team anticipates having a
“We have a lot of new guys and I’m excited to see how they do against Trinity,” junior Sarah Alpini said.
Last Friday, the team met for the annual Black and Gold scrimmage where the teams split up into two teams and compete against each other. The gold team defeated the black team this year.
“I really look forward to the Black and Gold Meet. It’s a lot of fun and I think it’s good for the new swimmers,” Alpini said.
Additionally, Duncan brought in Assistant Coach Shea Davisson. Davisson has helped the team improve over the last year and is also involved in recruiting efforts. “She’s been a great asset to our team and brought in a lot of fresh ideas,” Duncan said.
Davisson has been working with Duncan to improve the team since she started coaching here last year. Despite her lack of experience coaching at the collegiate level, Davisson is well qualified and enthusiastic about the opportunity to work with the Pirates.
“Last year was my first time working with college athletes, but I’ve been coaching for about four years,” Davisson said. “I had always wanted to do Division III coaching. Jon and I have a cool connection because he actually coached me in high school.”
The women’s team only has one recruit this year, First Year accounting major Jessi Winters. Although she came in with anxieties about fitting in with the team, she quickly found a place among her teammates.
“I was nervous about being the only freshman girl, but they’ve all been really welcoming and I’m just part of the team,” said Winters.
Both teams will be competing throughout winter, with the SCAC championship meet taking place in February.