After an hour bus ride, we finally arrived to the University Hotel in Minneapolis. We are given our rooms and roommates and the journey begins for the 2012 MIAC Championships; with shaving. Shaving is something swimmers should look forward to because of the competitive advantage it gives you. However, an hour or two hours later and a lot of razor burn, you just want to be done with it.
The men and women then head to different rooms to hear a pep talk from our coaches. Jon Carlson, Alex Lindstrom, Tim Johnson and Luke Weyandt meet the men’s team in the room. Carlson goes over some of the administrative details that the athletes need to hear but maybe don’t want to because of the excitement than has been building. Finally the inspirational stuff. Opportunity is a common theme among the coaches. It has been for a few weeks now.
The women had a little bit different pep talk. Their talk was more about how they need to continue doing what they have done all season, having fun and coming out on top. They are the team everyone is trying to take down and fun is more intimating than stern, stoic expression. Its worked all year for them and it will work again at this meet.
The men are excited to get the meet underway. While last year turned in a third place performance, there were plenty of memorable moments. To kick off the final session on the first day, the 200 free relay placed first when they were seeded fourth and were considered out of the running to win the race. We’re hoping to create some of that magic again. Most people have St. Thomas and St. Olaf pegged as the favorites, and have us battling for third against Saint John’s and Carleton. What we know as a team though is we didn’t come here to get third. We can’t win the meet on the first day but we’re hoping to make a statement. The 200 IM looks to be a big event for the Gusties with seniors Billy Schultze, Matt Van Fossen, Steven Manley and freshmen Jens Thomsen and Zac Solis participating.
The women are looking to three-peat. While the women lost some talented athletes last year, they didn’t lose a lot of depth. Swimmers having been stepping up left and right for the team and the result has been one of the strongest season’s in Gustavus women’s history. Last year the women’s meet became anti-climatic quick and the women are looking to do the same this year. The squad has strong swimmers across the board and a great deal of talent in each race. One of the big events comes on day one in the 50 where seniors Serena Elthon, Ally Hannemann, juniors Kelsey Lucia, Sarah Hund and freshmen Katie Olson will be participating. The Gusties are seeded first, fourth, fifth, tenth and 21st according to the psych sheet.
Gunnar Teigen, a senior on the Gustavus swimming and diving team, is an intern for the Gustavus Adolphus Sports Information Department. Teigen will be blogging from the 2012 MIAC Championships to give fans a behind-the-scenes look at the conference championships through the eyes of one of the student-athletes competiting. Teigen will be posting a new installment his feature blog, “Deck Pass To The 2012 MIAC Swim & Dive Championships” following each day of competition.