Swimming and diving teams prepare for season

HYSLOP UND hosted Intrasquad scrimmage last Friday to prepare for season.

Freshman Alli Schwab prepares to compete during last Friday’s Intrasquad meet at the Hyslop Sports Center. Photo by Chester Beltowski.

The UND swimming and diving teams began competition this past Friday when they hosted an intrasquad scrimmage in the Hyslop Sports Center.

The competition was the first event of the season, with newly announced captains for the 2013-2014 season leading the way — Camille Merwin and Morgan Lynch as the women’s captains, and Rick Eberle and Dan Jacobson on the men’s side.

First year coach Chris Maiello has hope that they will lead his team to great heights.

“These four individuals have provided vital leadership for our program in a time of transition,” Maiello said.

Merwin, senior captain of the women’s team, said she’s happy with her team’s performance during the intrasquad scrimmage.

“It went really well,” Merwin said. “We had a hard week of practice the week before, so it was great that we were able to swim as fast as we did as a team — especially this early in the season.”

In addition to satisfactory results as a team, many swimmers had a great meet individually.

“I swam faster than I ever have at a preseason meet and actually broke two of my personal intrasquad records, so that is a good sign,” Merwin said.

Merwin, who swims primarily breaststroke and individual medley, ranks fourth all-time at UND in the 100 breaststroke — a mark she set at the Conference USA meet in 2011.

The average times put up by the UND men and women swimmers were faster than in past years at the same point in the season, and the captains said the team’s success at the intrasquad scrimmage is telling of how the season will progress. Merwin said she hopes the team will have outstanding potential for success this season.

“Freshman Kristin Ainsworth has been showing great potential in practice and has a promising season in front of her,” Merwin said. “I also think junior Erin Grabanski is one to watch. I am really excited to watch what she can do near the end of the season.”

On the men’s side, Dan Jacobson’s name already appears in UND’s top 10 records in four different events — including 50 back, 100 back, 200 back and 50 fly — as he hopes to move up again this season.

Eberle is also someone to watch. He was the first UND male diver to qualify for the NCAA Division I Zone diving meet last season.

Looking forward

Merwin is already looking ahead to the WAC Conference meet this season.

“There is a lot of energy, and everyone is cheering so loud,” Merwin said. “Especially near the end of the meet during the 400 Medley relay, which I am in.”

Merwin, who has been swimming competitively since she was eight, has mixed feelings about her last year of competition.

“It’s a weird feeling knowing I have already started my last year of swimming,” she said. “It is a little sad, but I am very excited. I want it to be a good last year and go out with a bang.”

This 2013-2014 season is sizing up to be a good one for the UND swimming and diving teams. The season officially gets underway Oct. 12 when North Dakota will host South Dakota State at 1:00 p.m in Hyslop Sports Center.

Allison Moore is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at allison.h.moore@my.und.edu