The NMU swimming and diving team began the season with their Green and Gold meet at the PEIF pool on Saturday, Sept. 29.
The Green and Gold competition is a scrimmage where the team is split evenly into two teams and they compete with each other in a series of events to practice for their upcoming season and for the new freshmen to have a feel for what a meet is like. Head coach Heidi Voigt said this meet is a good way to determine the team’s strengths and weaknesses for the upcoming season.
“The Green and Gold meet is an intrasquad meet,” Voigt said. “I split the team as evenly as possible and it gives us a chance to race before we meet Hillsdale to see where our strengths and weaknesses are. It also gives me a chance to see our freshmen compete.”
The meet had 12 events—10 swimming and two diving. The Gold team won seven out of the 12 events, including the 200-yard medley relay, one meter dive and 400-yard freestyle relay.
The Green team won five events including the 500-yard freestyle, 200-yard IM and the 100-yard butterfly. Each team was awarded two points for first place in an event and one point for coming in second, the Gold team won with 479 points. The Green team scored 444 points.
Freshman diver Bridget Waas experienced her first college meet and said it was great to be a part of the team and is ready to have a successful first year.
“I feel like the Green and Gold meet went pretty well,” Waas said. “It was my first college meet, so it was nice to get to know how meets run. It was a pretty successful meet for the freshmen and setting a baseline for the rest of the year. It was also great to see how the rest of the team competes.”
Waas said the coaching staff is great and the chemistry between the team and coaches is strong.
“Coach Heidi has great chemistry with all of us,” Wass said. “She knows how to deal with our good and bad days. Our new diving coach, Coach Bill (Williams), has been here for only a short amount of time, but he’s already fitting in nicely.”
This is Voigt’s third season with the ‘Cats and she said she is proud to be a part of the community and the team.
“I love coaching here at NMU,” Voigt said. “The school, the community and this season I feel great about our team and our goals for the season. I have been able to move faster in our training this fall and the team is looking good.”
Senior captain Gaby Alzaga said she is confident and proud of her teammates and wants to accomplish a lot, not only for herself, but her team as well. Alzaga placed eighth last year in the 200-yard backstroke at the NCAA meet to become an All-American.
“I am ready and excited to enjoy my last season as a Wildcat,” Alzaga said. “I am looking forward to see the team keep growing like it has been in the past years. Our team goal is to be top three of our conference and have a strong team to go to nationals.”
Alzaga is one of 18 members returning to the team, with an addition of five freshmen.
“One of our quotes is ‘take care of each other,’ and I think this describes our team,” Alzaga said. “We are a family and this is what makes us stronger.”
NMU’s season opener is at home against Hillsdale on Friday, Oct. 12 at 6 p.m. and Saturday, Oct.13 at 9 a.m. at the PEIF pool. Last season the ’Cats finished fourth in the GLIAC Championships.