The Gustavus women’s swimming and diving team didn’t win its first Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) title until the 2001-02 season. Since then, the Gusties have won the MIAC title in 03-04 and are hoping to bring back MIAC Championship hardware to St. Peter for the third time in the last four seasons. The MIAC Championships will be held on February 17-19 at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center in Minneapolis, Minn.
Head coach Jon Carlson said this year’s seniors came in as a good first year class. “We have an amazing senior class. They have turned themselves into some of the best seniors in small college swimming and diving. These women have taken the team-first aspect of our program and have used it to develop into a caring passionate team. What truly drives their performances is their willingness to give to each other on the team.”
The core group of seniors includes, Beth DeLaRosby, Katie Garvey, Eva Miller, Laurie Decknatel, Karin Gustafson, Natasha Eid, Alyssa Tjosaas, and Kirsten Hubert. These eight women have been at the heart of the program over the past four seasons. Beth DeLaRosby and Katie Garvey are three-time All-American athletes, Eva Miller is a two-time All-American honoree, and Laurie Decknatel has one All-American honor.
The Gusties won nine events at the MIAC Championships last season, including four relays and five individual events. All of those nine events were either won by a current senior individually or included a current senior on the relay team. Beth DeLaRosby will lead the senior class in defending five MIAC event titles from last season. DeLaRosby placed first in the 50 and 100 freestyles and as a part of the 200 freestyle relay, the 400 freestyle relay, and the 200 medley relay.
Jon Carlson said his senior class includes four All-American athletes. Those four All-American winners along with the other four seniors have, “Performed very well when surrounded by their teammates at the MIAC Championships. The senior’s results at the MIAC tournament the last three seasons are a testament to their drive and focus on what they can do in a team setting. Each of these seniors is more focused on the team’s success as opposed to only succeeding on an individual basis.”
As head coach, Jon Carlson said he plays a small role in what athletes become over their four years at the collegiate level. “As a coach, I can tell them what they need to do in order to be great. The athlete makes the choice to sacrifice different things along the way to become great in their event. This senior class has chosen to make those sacrifices necessary to be great. Their performances will play a key role in us bringing back our third MIAC team title in the last four years.”