Freshman swimmer poised to make splash


by Erich Bogner, Sports Reporter

INDIANOLA, Iowa — Maren Hoferitza-Palermo leaves her competition in her the dust – but there isn’t any dust underwater.

Hoferitza-Palermo started her collegiate swimming career strong by winning the 200 butterfly and the 200 backstroke. She also placed second in the 200 individual medley and helped the 200 medley place second. For this performance, she was named the Iowa Conference Swimmer of the Week in late October.

“Maren’s performance is something everyone on the team can be proud of,” senior captain Michael Reuter said. “It’s quite impressive to watch someone swim both the 200 fly and the 200 back in a dual meet when those events are only a few races apart, but it’s even more impressive to watch a freshman win both of them at her first collegiate meet.”

While there are only five IIAC schools with swimming and diving teams, being named the IIAC Swimmer of the Week is still a big deal. Reuter said a swimmer needs to win or finish in the top few positions in multiple races to be considered for the award. Simpson’s last female recipient of the award was Christina Amburgy in 2014.

“She comes in and she definitely does everything coach wants us to do,” senior captain Haley Blum said. “Just the other day at practice, she went up to him and gave him an idea for a workout of different sets for her to do to challenge herself more. While the rest of us were doing sets of 200 alternating between freestyle and their stroke, she did four 400 individual medleys instead.”

Blum said Hoferitza-Palermo can beat most of Simpson’s female swimmers in most strokes. Reuter said she does well because of her dedication to swimming and how hard she works in practices.

“It will be interesting to watch Maren perform for the rest of the season and as we get into some big invites,” Reuter said. “I think she has potential to break multiple Simpson records, and I think she will be a top scorer for us at the Liberal Arts Championships in February.”

Hoferitza-Palermo got close to school records in her first meet and her times will only improve as the team starts working in drag suits and then decreasing their workload at the end of the season.