2021 Swim & Dive Season Preview

Posted on February 5th, 2021 by

SAINT PETER, Minn. – The Gustavus men’s and women’s swimming & diving teams are set to begin their 2021 season Saturday at home as they host Augsburg, Concordia, and Hamline. The diving portion of the meet begins at 10:30 a.m. and swimming starts at 2 p.m.

The Gustie men enter the 2021 season as defending MIAC champions, having won the conference meet the last two years, while the women are coming off a third place finish. Last season’s NCAA Championships were cancelled due to the pandemic, which continues to have lingering effects as this year’s MIAC and NCAA championships are cancelled. Although there will be no championship events, the Gusties are driven to become better at their craft, no matter what the circumstances may be.

“I’ve been awed and I’ve been humbled by the fact that I tell them the next adverse thing they have to deal with and the amount of trust they’ve put in to the program and the coaches,” said Head Coach Jon Carlson, who is in his 31st season at the head of program. “There have been times where I’ve been moved emotionally because of it. It’s been everybody, they all hang in there. I wouldn’t want to go through this again, but there have been these silver linings. I think it speaks to the optimism of the student athletes and that they know eventually this is going to get better. They don’t know when, but they know it’s going to get better.”

The Gusties have three meets scheduled against MIAC opponents this season with a pair of intrasquad meets as well. Despite the truncated schedule, the Gusties have a healthy mixture of experienced returners and promising newcomers to compete against the best in the MIAC. Notable returners include all seven All-Americans from last season – Matt Allison (Sr., Grand Rapids), Andrew Becker (So., Northfield), Dutch Franko-Dynes (Jr., Minneapolis), Ellen Hofstede (So., Hopkins), Nolan Larson (Sr., West Des Moines, Iowa), Josh Muntifering (Sr., Buffalo), and Erik Small (So., Hudson, Wis.). All seven qualified for the NCAA Championships last season.

Other All-Conference performers from last year’s squad who return this season include Sophia Steinberg (Sr., Faribault), Abigail Yartz (So., Bemidji), Dane Hudson (So., Eden Prairie), Farrque Hussein (Jr., Fridley), and Callen Zemek (So., Victoria).

“I think their loyalty to each other and their kindness to each other has been what I’ve noticed most,” Carlson said of his team. “When we finally compete, I think the racing is going to take care of itself. I’m not really worried about that, I think we are going to swim fast, I think we have the chance to break records, and I think we have the chance to do some pretty amazing things as far as times go.”

The Gusties are focused on making the most of the opportunities they have this season. One of those opportunities includes a final sendoff to a familiar foe.

“The biggest excitement is that we get a chance to be St. Thomas’ last dual meet in the MIAC,” Carlson said. “We have a special relationship with that school, we always have. We were the last school they swam before they tore their old pool down and built their new one. It’s kind of a special moment that we get to swim against them in a two-day dual meet for their last competition in the MIAC.”

2021 Men’s Schedule | 2021 Women’s Schedule

2021 Men’s Roster | 2021 Women’s Roster

 

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