2019-20 Swim & Dive Season Preview

Posted on November 1st, 2019 by

SAINT PETER, Minn. – The Gustavus men’s and women’s swimming & diving teams begin their 2019-20 season Saturday at home, playing host to Minnesota State-Mankato and UW-Stevens Point. The meet at Vic Gustafson Pool begins at 1 p.m.

The Gusties saw a great deal of success last season with the men winning the MIAC championship and the women taking second place. The men return 24 letterwinners and welcome 12 freshmen, while the women return 29 and bring in 12 first-years as well.

“Everyone wants to build on what we did last year,” said Head Coach Jon Carlson, who is in his 30th season at the helm. “That’s really been the focus since the first day of practice. Where we finished last year was a result of a lot of people making themselves better. It shows in how they came in shape and their focus in the water has been outstanding. It’s been a positive atmosphere and they are doing a great job of inspiring each other.”

The senior class is relied upon to take a leadership role and that consists of six women and six men.

“Our senior leadership group really is a good cohesive unit and they support each other,” Carlson said. “They recognize that each of them bring different strengths to our leadership team. They’re always willing to step up and bring the love of the sport, which is sometimes overlooked by people.”

The top returning point-scorers for the men include Nolan Larson (Jr., West Des Moines, Iowa), Matt Allison (Sr., Grand Rapids), Josh Muntifering (Jr., Buffalo), and Dutch Franko-Dynes (So., Minneapolis), all of which participated in the NCAA Championships. Locan Bican (Sr., Monticello) is the top returning diver for the men.

“That whole crew, while they are improving individually, they really care about how we are improving as a team,” Carlson said. “We have a bunch of freshman on the team this year and they’ve taken them under their wing and showed them what it’s going to take to win another championship.”

Top-point scorers on the women’s side include All-Conference honorees Sophia Steinberg (Jr., Faribault), Hailey Auran (Jr., Saint Paul), Alyssa Lokensgard (Sr., Saint Peter), Alyssa Kohorst (Sr., Sauk Centre), and Hanna Pokornowski (Jr., Cokato).

“The women know what they need to do if they are going to make a run at a conference championship,” Carlson said. “We have program goals and we are right on track with those goals. If we keep going the way we are, I feel confident in our abilities to achieve our goals. The performance goals don’t change but the process goals change each year.”

This year’s coaching staff looks different than in year’s past. Alex Lindstrom remains as Carlson’s lead assistant, but Luke Weyandt has moved on as Hamline’s head coach. 2019 graduates Grace Carlson and Tanner Sonnek have stepped in to fill the void. Carlson also hired Tracy Torgerson as the diving coach. Torgerson was an All-American diver at the University of Minnesota and coached three NCAA champions while at St. Cloud State University from 2008-13. She was voted the NCAA Coach of the Year in 2008, 2012, and 2013.

“While Luke is dearly missed, we are excited for him that he got this opportunity,” Carlson said. “Alex and I have been together for a long time and it’s been fun to rely on each other a little more. He’s done a phenomenal job of allowing me to coach, recruit, and interact with athletes. Grace and Tanner were a little wary of how the team was going to think with them being on the team last year, but once they got a chance to be coaches on deck, the team realized they are a wealth of knowledge. And we are very lucky to have Tracy Torgerson come on board who has had collegiate success on the national level both as a diver and as a coach. It’s pretty clear that she might be the best coach on our staff.”

 

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