Florida Southern College’s men’s swimming team left the pool in style with a 146-59 victory over Nova Southeastern last Saturday.
Additionally, it was their last home meet at FSC this season, making it a sentimental time in the eyes of seniors. Their first home meet in October was victorious against Tampa, and the team has experienced great success preceding the result.
“I came to this program when it was not taken seriously on campus and hardly a blip on the national radar. So, to step back and see how far we’ve come now made it that much harder to swim in my last home meet,” Thomas Nguyen, senior, said.
After this meet, the men are looking to quickly refocus, as they feel the best is still yet to come. Geneva, Ohio will be the sight of the Division II National Championships, and Zach Edwards, Senior, feels the team has a tremendous opportunity.
“Our eyes are set on bringing home the program’s first national title, in addition to successfully defending our conference title,” Edwards said.
Furthermore, by building steady accomplishments over the years, the swim team currently finds itself fourth in the country.
The ranking is made more impressive considering the team finished second at the end of last season, and lost their best swimmer, Jeb Halfacre, to graduation.
The team also believes the best is still yet to come, as their training is tailored for peak performances in the spring.
“We don’t really look at rankings right now. It’s great to be ranked fourth but it doesn’t mean anything until we race the best of the best in March,” Nguyen said.
In addition to disciplined coaching by Duncan Sherrard, FSC can contribute their success to swimmers posting some career best numbers, and significantly stepping up in various meets.
The three seniors, Robbie Swan, Edwards, and Nguyen, agree it has been a team effort, and have some big goals for the remainder of the season.
“Swan is definitely the anchor of our team, and has really put our relay team over the top. Also, Alan Gutierrez, who represented Honduras in the 2012 Olympics, has done a great job swimming butterfly for us,” Edwards said.
The Water-Mocs now face a bit of a lull in their schedule, having a month off until the Sunshine State Conference Championships start on Feb. 19, and the National Championships on Mar. 12.
Now is the time for the bulk of their training, gearing up for their most important part of the year. With that in mind, Nguyen has a simple motto to keep the team energized and composed for the last stretch.
“Win, plain and simple. We just want to win,” Nguyen said.
Photo by Valeria Sabate