More records, improvements for Storm swimming


Austin Hronich/Simpsonian

by Matt Lash, Sports Editor

INDIANOLA, Iowa — Every season, the Simpson swim team competes in the Liberal Arts Championships.

The meet consists of four days of events, and it is the last meet of the season for the Storm.

It serves as the postseason tournament for swimmers throughout the Midwest.

The Storm traveled last week to Decorah to face eight other teams in the water to showcase their season-long improvements.

In his fifth season as head coach, Tom Caccia couldn’t be prouder of the way his team competed all season, ending with this meet.

“I was happy with how we did overall,” Caccia said. “I can’t complain about 82 percent of our swims being personal records.”

The season was full of surprises, school records and major improvements from the team.

There’s no better way to show their season improvement than swimming their fastest times in the last meet of the season, on the biggest stage. Caccia pushed the team harder than before, and it paid off.

“We upped our yardage throughout the season, and I think that helped in the long run,” Caccia said. “I don’t know that we’ll up our yardage again, but the yards will become more intense.”

Over the four-day championship-style meet, the Storm broke 12 school records in eight events.

Noah Nelson finished his incredible season by breaking another two individual records, the 500-meter freestyle and 400-meter individual medley, and was on all three record-breaking relays: 200-meter medley, 400-meter medley and 400-meter freestyle.

All three relay teams were a team of four freshmen: Nelson, Ryan Gaumer, Noah Bruns and Nick Keller.
With only eight swimmers on the men’s side, six of which are freshmen, and 16 on the women’s team, the Storm have struggled to keep up in meets.

Swimming is mostly an individual sport, but to stay competitive in meets, Caccia wants to see more people on the team.

“I’m excited about next year,” Caccia said. “I’m anticipating that we’ll get somebody in that’s going to help us, so I’m optimistic.”

The biggest impact

“The mental aspect of a meet like this starts coming in around the fourth or fifth session,” Caccia said. “The middle of the meet.”

After swimming for two straight days, swimmers for every team are tired. That’s where Caccia and the team are hoping to thrive.

“That’s where the harder practices start taking over,” Caccia said. “Physically, every swimmer is in pretty much the same shape, so it becomes a mental game late in meets.”

With no seniors on the men’s side, the team will look to come back stronger than ever in September when next seasons starts.

On the women’s side, the Storm will be without seniors Kayla Cary and Megan Buitendorp.