The SVSU swimming and diving teams at- tended their first meet of the season in Ka- lamazoo on Saturday, Oct. 16.
Following the 2020-2021 season filled with COVID restrictions and quarantines, coach Jason Lintjer acknowledged the struggles the teams faced.
“Last year was brutal,” Linter said. “Some people were quarantined for close to 100 days over the course of the season.”
Even with the difficulties, Lintjer said he was still impressed with how the teams performed last year and has high hopes for this season.
“Having said that, we were still able to set seven school records,” he said. “I’m excited to see what we can do with a full season. We also have a very well-balanced team. We brought in a strong recruiting class so I think we will certainly show improvement from previous seasons.”
Going into the weekend’s first meets against Kalamazoo and Alma, Lintjer had faith that his teams would have strong showings once again.
“We expect the team to compete very well this weekend,” he said. “We expect a lot of energy and enthusiasm from this group. We’ve been training hard and I’m excited to see them compete for the first time.”
The training paid off as both teams de- feated the competition on Saturday. The women’s team won over Alma 216-50 and Kalamazoo 208-83. The men were able to beat Alma 233-45 and Kalamazoo 217-78.
Notable wins included both 200-yard medley relay teams winning their events.
The women’s team including senior Erin McDowell, freshman Flora Mia Szklenar, freshman Tonya Guryeva, and junior Li- sette Fenneuff won with a time of 1:50:04.
The men’s team consisting of junior Christian Rottier, freshman Joao Pedro Noguera, freshman Eric Slabbert and fresh- man Alejandro Robles Ruiz won with a time of 1:34:77.
Ruiz also stood out in the men’s 200-yard backstroke event when he broke the school record with a time of 1:53:09.
For the women, Szklenar won three events. She won the 1000-yard freestyle with a time of 10:56:97, the 200-yard but- terfly with 2:10:24 as her time and the 100- yard butterfly in 58:90.
With last year’s GLIAC standings plac- ing the women’s team in fifth and the men’s team in sixth, Coach Lintjer is anticipating that both teams will move up the ranks this season.
“We are looking to move up one or two spots in the GLIAC standings for the men and women,” he said. “This is a team that is certainly on the rise. It’s hard to say where we will land with such a big freshmen class, but we have a lot of potential. We’re looking to send a big group to the national championships as well.”
On Friday Oct 22. the team will travel to Allendale, to take on Grand Valley State University. The following day, the team will participate in its first home meet of the season against Findlay in the Gerstacker Regional Aquatic Center.
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