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The North Wind

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The North Wind

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas Wiertella April 30, 2024

Swimmers prep for intrasquad

Nearing the NCAA weekly limit of 20 hours of practice time, the NMU swimming and diving team is putting their full effort to prepare for their upcoming season, beginning with the Green vs. Gold intrasquad meet on Saturday, Oct. 1.

Each week, the team practices three times in the early morning and every afternoon, weightlifts three times and does yoga every other week.

Entering her second year with the ’Cats, head coach Heidi Voigt said they have been focusing especially on general fitness, technique and stroke work during this part of the year.

“We push it to the limit,” Voigt said. “Swimming is like running; you can’t stop. If they take a week out of the water, it backs them up three weeks.”

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September is also when the team spends a lot of time on team building activities. Voigt said she turned the Green vs. Gold intrasquad meet into a three-week competition for the team, having them do activities like the Navy Seal Challenge, a scavenger hunt and team cheers before the meet itself.

The swimming and diving team acquired 15 freshmen this year, and has only 11 returners. Voigt said, although the team has talented returners, they only had one or two stand out athletes in each event; it needed the depth.

“It was good; it’s what we needed,” Voigt said. “It’s been really fun because they brought a new light to the team, and I see the returners working hard to keep up and leading them.”

Senior swimmer Stephanie Rogaczewski, who was one of three freshmen when she came to Northern, said the large group of freshmen fits in well with the returners.

“A lot of the freshmen knew each other before they came here,” Rogaczewski said. “Each of (the returners) sees ourselves in some of them, so it’s nice to be able to relate to them, and they fit in with our craziness.”

Voigt said she is hoping the combination of hard work, fun and teamwork will help the Wildcats reach their goals for the season, which include placing in the top half of the conference after tying for seventh last season, sending more girls to nationals and improving the team GPA.

The swimming and diving coaches and team said are looking forward to the upcoming intrasquad meet.
“It is going to be really fun to see where we’re at,” Voigt said. “A lot of times, believe it or not, they get more excited to race each other and push each other than sometimes when we go to another dual meet; they will go harder here.”

Because over half the team is comprised of freshmen, Voigt has not seen many of them race. Northern’s next meet is on the road, and, since she can’t take everyone, Voigt said she will use the Green vs. Gold meet to help determine who will be taken.

“I also want to see them come together as a team and support each other,” Voigt said. “Not only am I looking for fast swimming, but good team members are important.”

Rogaczewski, a member of the Gold team, said the competition between the two teams will be close.

“Right now we’re all tied, but I’m really looking forward to doing the team cheers because that’s one of the last things we can get points for before the meet itself,” Rogaczewski said.

Although there are only two home meets, Voigt and Rogaczewski said that the team appreciates having fans attend.

“It’s a lifetime sport,” Rogaczewski said. “It’s just one of those things where people don’t understand all that goes into it, so it’s nice to have that support.”

The team will dive into its season with an intrasquad meet at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 1 at the PEIF pool.
The team’s first meet is in Moorhead, Minn. against St. Cloud State University and University of Minnesota-Moorhead Oct. 21 and 22.

“We’re expecting big things this year, and as long as we can keep them all healthy and excited as much as they are now, it’s going to be great,” Voigt said.

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