Swimmers walked on to new starting blocks, recently changed to adhere to NCAA standards. The blocks now have grip handles, as well as a rear platform, allowing swimmers to perform greater lifts and launches.
The blocks will give MSUM swimmers an advantage heading into the conference season.
“Our swimmers get to practice with equipment everyday that no other team in the conference has yet,” head swimming coach Todd Peters said.
The divers returned to a facility with two replaced springboards and the addition of a third springboard. The changes stem from the suggestions of diving coach Nate Brisley, who said new boards would improve divers’ performance levels.
“New technology in the boards provides more grip,” Brisley said, “and also allows for a much safer, smoother and higher jump.”
The changes are part of Brisley’s plans to revamp the diving team, from the facility to roster size.
Brisley said he wants a team of 10 divers, up from the team’s current four.
“More divers would bring out the best in the divers, as well as create a really supportive environment,” he said.
A dry land training facility is also being built, which will be completed by next season. The training facility, Peters said, will feature a box trampoline with harnesses to perfect dives before divers even hit the water. The renovations cost $80,000, which came from an athletic fund. A dry land springboard will also be housed in the facility, designed to help divers practice their techniques before splashing into the pool.
“The dry land room is going to be very beneficial for our team leading into the conference meet and especially for the off season leading into next season,” junior diver Kelsey Jandro said.
The Dragons will compete in the inaugural Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference meet in Rochester, Minn., on Feb. 7 to 10, followed by the Division II NCAA Championships in Geneva, Ohio, on March 5 to 9.
The Dragon women’s swimming and diving team is looking for great meets, aiming for repeat trips to nationals for both swimmers and divers.
BY LEWIS GRANT
PHOTO BY JESSICA FLEMING