Swim and Dive teams travel for training and competition

By Austin Hamm Sports Editor


Although the SDSU Swim and Dive teams traveled to Florida over break, head coach Fred Erickson doesn’t want people to think they were lounging on the beach for a week. Instead the atheletes were training and competing throughout the week.

“We had probably the best weather we’ve had in several years down there, but that’s not the reason we go, we go down there to train,” Erickson said. “The pool is an outdoor pool. The water stays about 80 degrees, but the last two days we were there it was upper 30’s-lower 40’s with the wind chill, so when you’re standing there wet in a swimsuit, it gets cold.”

The Jacks also played host to the St. Pete’s Classic while they were there, with four teams competing on the women’s side, and only two on the men’s side. SDSU and the University of Iowa had both mens’ and womens’ teams, while Sacred Heart and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock had only womens’ teams present.

“We set up the St. Pete’s Classic last year. When we hold it kind of depends on other schools; when they’re training there and when their training hours are,” Erickson said. “It’s a relay meet, so we hold events that aren’t usually on the schedule for dual meets. It’s more of a timed practice, a break from the work we put in while down there.”

The SDSU men’s team fell to Iowa, who won all nine events on both sides, while the SDSU women’s team tied for second. Iowa’s women scored 126 points, while SDSU and UALR tallied 80 points and Sacred Heart finished with 50 points.

The Jacks had several runner-up finishes to the Hawkeyes, including the women’s 3×100 yard breaststroke team of Emily Campbell, Kristin Erf and Kayce Smithl; the men’s 3×100 yard breaststroke team of Josh DeDina, John Overman and Geoffrey Longhurst and the men’s 3×500 yard scramble relay of Chris Angerhofer, Blake Yeager and Weston Christensen.

With a solid week of training in, Erickson hopes the Jackrabbits will use the break to propel themselves forward in the New Year.

“It should set us up well,” Erickson said. “It was a good time. No studying, no exams, no pressure from school; which allows for more interaction on the team and a chance to get some good team bonding in. We came back mostly healthy, and most of the injuries were caused mostly by the repetition of the work we put in. Our trainer took a count, and we were using 40 bags of ice after practice for 40 athletes.”

The Jacks return to action this Saturday, Jan. 17, hosting St. Cloud State of Minnesota. That meet will be the final home meet for the Rabbits this year, who will follow with duals against the University of South Dakota and the University of North Dakota before heading to the Minnesota challenge for their final tune-up before the Summit League Championships, starting on February 18, in Indianapolis, IN.