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October 28, 2009

2009-2010 Season - Men's swimming hopes to build on last year

Second year head coach Scott Johannsen is excited to “expand on what we did last year,” as he heads into his second season at the helm of the Augustana swimming program.  Johannsen’s swimmers combined for a 7-5 dual meet record as the women were 4-2 while the men compiled a 3-3 mark.  The Vikings also had a fifth place finish in the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin championship meet from the women and a sixth place showing from the men’s squad.

Fifteen letterwinners, eight for the men and seven for the women, return to the program this season and Johannsen said “all of them will play a key role.”  He wants “versatile swimmers who can swim different events” and feels that “several people on the team will step in and swim different events from last season.”

“A very good incoming class of freshmen will also play a key role,” said Johannsen.  “I am looking forward to watching them develop over the next four years.  There are individuals in this group that can contend for high finishes at the CCIW championship meet,” he said.  The women welcome eight first year swimmers to the program while four freshmen will join the men’s squad.

Johannsen is pleased with the work of his captains as they are continuing to change the culture in a positive way for the program.  “The young men and women are seeing consistency in our training and it should pay off this season,” he said.  Sara Hlavin (St. Viator HS, Elk Grove Village, Ill.) and Emma Moran (Bettendorf HS, Bettendorf, Iowa) are the senior captains for the women’s team.  Eric Zike (Ridgeview HS, Colfax, Ill.) and Jake Glimco (Naperville Neuqua Valley HS, Naperville, Ill.) will hold down that role for the men’s team. 

The Vikings are also looking forward to the team’s training trip to Tampa Bay, Florida from January 1 to January 9.  “We will train twice a day and our swimmers will go 10,000 to 12,000 meters per day.  It will be a positive addition to our program,” said Johannsen.

Another positive for the program is the stability with Johannsen returning for another season.  “We can build on things from last season and our swimmers understand my expectations going forward.  We are going to push each other to improve,” he said.

This year’s schedule will push the Vikings as it will be more difficult than the schedule of a year ago.  “We have added meets to up the competition level during the season.  It should benefit us later in the year, especially at the CCIW championship meet,” said Johannsen.

Augustana has also added a diving coach this season with Aimee Moylan joining the staff.  She dove for four years at the University of Iowa and will work with sophomore Tonya Walter (Prospect HS, Mt. Prospect, Ill.) this season as well as recruit divers for future years.  Walter finished fourth in the one meter diving event at the CCIW championship meet last season.

The women’s team participated in six invitationals last season, winning three of them.  The team finished first in the Augustana Invitational, the Eureka Invitational, and the Panther Invitational.  The Blue & Gold also added a second place finish at the Illinois Wesleyan Invitational.

Hlavin had a pair of top ten finishes at the CCIW championship meet last season and finished with the eighth best time in school history in the 200 backstroke.  Junior Emily Cox (Pioneer HS, Ann Arbor, Mich.) was also a key performer for the Vikings last season, helping the team grab a trio of top five showings at the CCIW championship meet.

The men’s team also competed in six invitationals a year ago, winning the Eureka Invitational and picking up second place showings at the Augustana Invitational and the Panther Invitational.  The Blue & Gold notched dual wins over Coe, Knox, and North Central.

Zike won a pair of individual titles at the Eureka Invitational and swam on four relay teams that earned top five finishes at the CCIW championship meet.  Junior Drew Clinton (Riverside Brookfield HS, Brookfield, Ill.) was also a member of those four relay teams at the CCIW championship meet and won an individual title at the Eureka Invitational.

Story written by Assistant Sports Information Director Adam Strand