By: Timea Horvath
Photo by: @simpsonswimming
Practice off campus six times a week? The Simpson University’s swimming team knows exactly how it feels.
Simpson’s one of the youngest athletic teams is the men and women’s swimming and diving team. Started in 2019, with Steve Lazaraton as head coach, the team is slowly growing with more and more people hearing about it. However, compared to the achievements they are getting, the team still seems to be rarely talked about. According to the Simpson Athletics 2021-22 recap, last season ended successfully for the Red Hawk swimmers.
“In the Pacific Collegiate Championships, both teams struggled on day one with the women missing the qualifying mark for nationals and the men being disqualified in the 200 medley and 800 freestyle for taking off early. However, the Red Hawks bounced back and had over 10 top 10 finishes over the four-day tournament. The men then went on to compete at nationals where they placed 10th in the nation in just three years of being a program.”
This year the Simpson swim team invited seven new athletes, thus starting the season with a lot of fresh energy and motivation. Irene Batalla, a current senior swimmer from Barcelona, Spain agreed to share her insights on the team.
“I feel that the team has changed a lot this year, all of the swimmers are new but 5 of us, it’s different because it’s all new people, but we still have a really good connection between us, and it feels like a family.”
Since Simpson University doesn’t have a swimming pool, the Red Hawk swimmers have to commute off campus for their practices. This can be a challenge especially for someone who doesn’t own a car and has to carpool. Jacob Greene, the Slate’s editor-in-chief, discussed the topic more deeply in his recent editorial, Carpool to the Pool.
The team is currently preparing for an upcoming tournament, a Texas invite in Dallas, during the weekend of Dec. 3-5. In the future, they also have planned a tournament with Westmont College in Santa Barbara on Jan.14, and a Cal State East Bay Invite in Hayward only five days later. Between Feb. 8 and 11, the Red Hawk swimmers will take part in the PCSC Conference Championships, which may take them to the NAIA National Championships in March.