Most talented team’ beats USD swimmers

Ashley Dumke

Ashley Dumke

The SDSU men’s swimming and diving team opened their season by beating USD by more than 30 points. The team hasn’t beat USD in more than 10 years.

The Jacks earned a total of 130 points at the meet.

“It was electric, really exciting. The guys went into the meet fired up with a lot of focus,” said Assistant Coach Phil Hurley, who traveled with the team to the Vermillion meet.

The team performed well right off the bat. In the first race, the medley relay, SDSU took first and third place. The second race followed suit, with State swimmers placing both first and second.

“Everybody was ecstatic that we were ahead of USD in the beginning, but we didn’t let up,” stated sophomore swimmer Josh Mueller.

“The first couple of races set a positive attitude for the rest of the meet. I think it’s just a testament of their desire to win,” Hurley said.

Even without any divers, SDSU placed first in eight of the fourteen events.

“As a result of winning, there has been an increased sense of togetherness, an attitude that has carried over in to the locker rooms and at practice,” stated Hurley.

“This is a good victory for the men’s program. USD has typically been a strong program. A win over them is special,” said Head Coach Brad Erickson, who is in his 31st year of coaching at SDSU. “When Phil and I did the line-up, we knew our team was strong enough that regardless of where we placed them, we would be able to pull out a win.”

Coach Erickson is looking forward to a good year.

“We expect to see better performances this season. We’re already so much further ahead, swimming times now that we didn’t swim until late January last season,” he said.

Both coaches, as well as the swimmers, agree that this year’s team is full of talent.

“This is the most talented team in the school’s history,” said Hurley, who has been with the Jacks for the last three years.

Mueller also added, “I think we have a really strong team this year and hopefully we will place well at conference.”

But winning, of course, isn’t what’s most important.

“How each individual performs and if they’re swimming up to their potential is what I look at,” Erickson said.

He expects both the women’s and men’s teams to break many of the school’s records this year, quite an accomplishment for such a young team. Of all the men and women swimming for SDSU this season, nearly half are freshmen.

“Phil has done a great job of recruiting and bringing in new talent. It will be a very promising season.”

Next up for the swim team, the men will travel to St. John’s in Collegeville, Minn. on Dec. 2, while the women will be competing at home against Nebraska at 11 a.m. Both the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams will face the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay at home on Dec. 9, starting at 1 p.m.

#1.883967:2422205843.jpg:swimming01.jpg:A SDSU swimmer competes against USD at the first swim meet of the season.: