Swimming and diving team splashes into season

Kelly McCommons

The NMU swimming and diving team kicked off their competition season last weekend with a pair of wins in Minnesota against St. Cloud State.

The ’Cats went away with winning 23 of 26 events, a statistic that head coach Heidi Voigt said she was pleased with. “When we come along with a win that strong, it really set us up well, Voigt said. “So far this week we’ve really just been in a recovery mode.”

“It’s great when you have athletes swimming great times this early in the year before what you thought they would. Madisen Sechena, for example, looked awesome. And it’s nice to see one of our juniors, Crystal Bennet, get back up there and race well.”

Senior Molly Kearney qualified for NCAA Diving nationals, scoring 255.70 in the one-meter and 242.10 in the three-meter diving events. Senior Debbi Lawrence won four events including the 100-yard  butterfly, 100-yard freestyle, 200-yard freestyle and 50-yard freestyle.

Despite the wins, Lawrence said she didn’t feel 100 percent satisfied with the weekend.

-“The starting blocks were terrible. Plus, within two days I swam eight different events and scored well.

“We went like five seconds faster. So it’s awesome to see my teammates and I pull off such a quick time this season.”

Junior Dakota Sechena said the team aspect is really strong this year, especially after swimming three of the longer distance events that college swimming offers. “I swam the mile, 400 individual medley, 500-yard freestyle and 100-yard butterfly. So I was tired after that, but we’ve been working hard in practice and I think that contributed to a good weekend for us.”

The team will be back in action at the PEIF pool at 5 p.m. Friday, October 24 and 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 25 against Minnesota Mankato.

Voigt said this would be a good next few weeks with some back-to-back home meets. “I think the girls are ready to stay put for awhile. Not having to travel several hours on a bus is a big plus.”

Lawrence said she was especially looking forward to the home meet. “I’m eying a couple of the records on our record board. Hopefully I can get my name on there a few more times.”