Swimming and diving honor 2019 senior class

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Members of the men’s swimming team emerge from the water during a butterfly event during last weekend’s intrasquad meet. Photo by Travis Nelson

Travis Nelson

The Northern Michigan University Swim and Dive team held their annual intrasquad skins meet this past Saturday, as they honored 24 seniors between both teams on Senior Day.

The men were recognized first, as they honored seniors: Renars Bundzis, Joshua Cosgrove, Grantas Dapkus, Kyle Flickinger, Esteban Gutierrez, Arnoldo Herrera, Ryan Leonard, Benjamin Lindberg, David Miranda, Curran Moffit, Janne Roovers and Nathan Rotundo. Herrera was one of three Wildcats to break a pool record in the skins meet. He broke the pool record in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:03.91, as well as finishing in first place in the 50-yard breaststroke. Leonard would also pick up two victories in the 100-yard individual medley (IM)and 400-yard IM. Bundzis took home the skins race on the men’s side.

Head coach Heidi Voigt had high praise of the men’s senior class and their leadership.

“It’s [their leadership] been really important, especially on the men’s side,” Voigt said. “This senior class is the class that started the men’s program up again, so they have seen it all the way through. They really established the culture of the team, and culture of excellence in the classroom, in the pool and in everything they do, which is huge when we’re bringing people in. They’ve really been there to guide them and set that tone.”

On the women’s side, the seniors recognized were Becca Arakelian, Carolina Artacho, Emily Bell, Samantha Dickie, Sara Foucault, Regan Kilburn, Mackenzie Mentel, Angela Probstfeld, Savanna Saunders, Dana Stroven and Taylor Sousa. Artacho took home the 50-yard backstroke with a time of 31.36. Two juniors for the Wildcat women broke pool records with Rachel Helm shattering records in the 50-yard breaststroke and 100-yard butterfly, with times of 29.44 and 56.22 respectively. Madelyn Irelan set a new record time in the 50-yard butterfly with a time of 25.58.

With the return of the men’s team, coach Voigt commemorates the women’s team’s accepting attitude.

“The women are our first women’s group to be a part of a co-ed team which is a different dynamic for sure,” Voigt said. “I’ve always been a believer that you really need to have three team identities: the women need to have bonded and have their own identity, and the men as well, but then they also have to be able to come together. There’s a lot that goes on in that culture and team bonding.”

Not only is this a great senior class for the Wildcats in the pool, but their leadership and togetherness is also truly what has made this season a success so far. The seniors look to finish their careers and season strong, as they travel to Cleveland, Ohio on Feb. 20, to compete at the GLIAC championships.