The men’s and women’s swimming teams concluded their first season at the Sunshine State Conference Swimming Championships Feb. 17-20.
While the results of their final performance of the season was not available at press time, Hollie Bonwit-Cron, head coach said the team developed quickly throughout the season.
“We began as a very green, young inexperienced team that developed in a short period of time into a team that can challenge others at the highest level,” she said.
Both teams ranked in the top 25 for Division II according to a recent poll by the College Swimming Coaches of America. The men ranked No. 18 while the women tied Nebraska-Omaha and Delta State for No. 25.
However, the teams faced challenges throughout the season. Since the fall semester, the swim team has lost seven athletes. Bonwit-Cron said some of the swimmers had different perceptions of how the program would progress.
“They decided to part ways because NSU wasn’t the right program for them,” she said. “Some athletes walk in not expecting it to be as challenging and as demanding as what it is.”
Ewa Jamborska, junior communication studies major and swimmer, said, “I feel like the biggest disappointment for the girls’ team was that we started off with 15 girls and now we have seven. It will be better next year when more girls come.” Jamborska, was the first female from the swimming program to be awarded the Counsilman-Hunsaker Division II National Swimmer of the Week honors.
Bonwit-Cron said she pushes the swimmers to do their best. During a regular season, the swim team practices twice a day. They also perform weight training or dry land exercises once a day.
“I feel my coaching style has been demanding, but I’m never satisfied with being average so my coaching style will only get more demanding in order to be better,” she said.
Jorge Ospina, junior, who was also a Swimmer of the Week, said, “I feel like this year was easier for me. I like the team. My races became a lot better at the end of the season.”
However, this season, the team suffered two injuries, which sidelined the swimmers. Those swimmers were red-shirted, which means they will sit out one year.
As for next season, Bonwit-Cron said she plans to expand the size of the team. Five female recruits have already signed.
She said, “If all things go well, I’d like to sign 15 women and 10 men.”
Jamborska said, “Hopefully, they’ll come and they’ll become as close to us as we all are.”
The Sharks did not have a diving team this year as a part of their aquatics program. Bonwit-Cron said the development of a diving team has been postponed until the 2012-2013 season.