Treading new waters

Treading new waters

by Becca HarrisStaff Writer

Simpson College continues to expand its horizons as the athletic department adds an additional team to the roster: men’s swimming.

Previously, the college has offered a club team for the men, but they have never had an actual competitive team. The men were allowed to practice and compete with the women’s team and participate in meets, but they were not allowed to score points or letter.

Coach Aaron Strain has a lot of positive things to say about the team and has high hopes for this season, as well as seasons in the future. He says there are a lot of things to look forward to as the program continues to grow and reach out to prospective students.

Strain also thinks the program will bring in more students to the school.

He said the team actually has a lot of experience. Everyone is fresh out of high school swimming or has competed before, just not together.

The men currently on the team have room to grow together and can continue growing over the years as new athletes join the team.

Freshman Conor Fair said that swimming was one of the determining factors for choosing Simpson.

“I liked the campus a lot, but I wasn’t sure that Simpson was for me until Tiffany at Admissions told me that they were making a swimming team,” Fair said. “Not only was there an awesome campus, but I could continue to swim in a Division III school.”

Fair also said that swimming is a good way to help learn time management. Although the program is demanding, he still has time to do school work when practice and meets are over.

Sophomore Sylvain Joyeux , a foreign exchange student from Tahiti, is also glad that he joined the team. Although he is only here for the semester, he says swimming has helped him meet people that he probably otherwise would not have met. He also said being on the team provides a good opportunity to practice his English.

Joyeux, along with fellow Tahitian teammate Sebastian Song, has already had many positive experiences on the team.

“Because we had just arrived at Simpson, we were happy to be together in this new environment,” Joyeux said.

Strain also said that he thinks the men’s swimming program is a good place to grow and develop as an individual, along with learning the necessary skills to work well with others and mature as a team. The team is also a good environment to meet new people, get involved with different things and stay in shape.

The men had their first meet along with the women at Luther against Luther and Morningside. They lost to Luther (94-9) and Morningside (63-20). Although they were defeated, Strain says they can only take from this experience and learn.

“Luther and Morningside both have developed men’s programs, and they are tough to beat,” Strain said. “Our guys did their best and that’s all I can ask for. It’s not about swimming, it’s about the swimmers.”