After a season of hard work and multiple PR’s, the CSM swim team prepares for the RMAC Championships and hopes to send the women’s 800-free relay to Nationals.
“This year we really want to get a relay into Nationals for the women’s program. That’s been one of the biggest goals for our program since I started. Really every year our biggest goal is that our student athletes are going personal bests. How we put together each season is really focusing on individuals succeeding more than they have in the past, and so that’s definitely one of our biggest focuses,” said Coach Rothman about the team’s seasonal goals.
Recently the team has swum in meets against Colorado College, CSU-Pueblo, and Western State.
“In the meet against CC, we were expecting to have a big win and we still won, but only by a little bit. It was pretty good competition and it came to the last relay or so. We were trying to go as fast as we could so that was really fun,” said sophomore swimmer Sarah Berude about December’s meet against Colorado College. Following this meet, the team competed victoriously against CSU-Pueblo in early January.
“It was a good, hard-fought meet. Our girls swam well, we competed well, and we were happy with how we did,” said sixth year head coach Nate Rothman. The team then swam against Western State in mid-January, but came up short with points causing them to lose the meet.
“Western State is really big competition for us. We beat them at our invite meet in November so we were hoping for another win, but they came strong. We are looking forward to Conference against them,” commented Berude.
“Western State has a really strong program. They’ve come along pretty quickly in the last year. Over a two-day dual meet they beat us pretty well,” said coach Rothman.
“We had a couple people that were out with injuries, so we weren’t necessarily swimming at our best. But our focus is always the last meet of the season and not necessarily dual meets, so we trained through it and I was happy with how we performed,” commented Coach Rothman. The team has had various struggles with shoulder injuries and tendonitis over the course of the season.
“With training as much as we do, shoulder injuries are a big issue. These last couple of weeks we’ve had a few,” said Berude. “At the Colorado College meet, Abby Wong, freshman, dislocated her shoulder on the last relay but she’s recovered since then.”
Even in the face of injuries, the team has stayed strong and stayed on a steady track towards accomplishing their goals.
The team’s hard work has culminated to the most important meet of the season: the Conference Championships. This is a four-day meet taking place Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday this week. Conference includes all of RMAC. The team is also aiming for success at Nationals which are after the RMAC Championships.
“We are looking at sending maybe one kid, but we are hoping to get the women’s 800-free relay to make it to Nationals—but it’ll be close,” said Berude.
“Definitely in the last few weeks it has been hard to get up at 5 o’clock in the morning and keep swimming because you just want to be done. But now it’s getting better,” explained Berude. Despite this fatigue, the swimmers are ready to give their all at Conference.
“I know we’ve gotten a lot of records on the board that are going to be refreshed at Conference, and we’ll get a lot more so that’s really exciting,” exclaimed Berude. “So far this season, I am most proud of our midseason meet [against Western State and Mesa University] because we did so well and we were un-tapered and we haven’t done that before. We came in really well for being beat down. It’s definitely a good sign for Conference!”
Preparation in the period of time before Conference includes tapering and fine-tuning of swimming skills.
“The team just needs to focus up on taking care of themselves and buckling down in preparation for the Conference Championships. A big part of the taper is rest. Obviously at a school like Mines, getting a good night’s sleep is kind of a rare thing, so we started preparing for this even before Christmas,” said Coach Rothman. “It’s the only time in the season when I tell kids that if they have the opportunity, they need to just sit down and rest. Nationals is the place where we aim our focus, so we’ve rested a lot more and sharpened up as much as we can in the water.”
The team has already had multiple swimmers achieve personal best times this season. Because of this, they anticipate to do well at Conference.