Any new sports team has necessities. These include players, coaches, a facility to practice in, and a budget.
Starting with 8 swimmers and 2 former Olympians for coaches, TMU’s new swim team is looking to start strong in their first season of competition.
While there is no specific conference set up for the swimmers yet, the team plans on competing in many agressive invitationals, including Division 1, 2, and 3 schools.
Sophomore division 1 transfer Lezly Plahn, is confident that being a first year team won’t affect them.
“Our coaches have done an awesome job conditioning us and with swim it’s all about getting off the wall as fast as you can and your underwaters and that’s what they’ve been drilling in us,” said Plahn. “So with the races we go into individually, I think we can really succeed.”
Even though the team has only had two full weeks of training under their belt, the time has been well invested.The team has in-pool practices everyday from 6 to 8 am, and on-land training twice a week in the afternoon.
“Were doing a lot of drills and a lot of technique work,” said Plahn.
Skilled swimmers aren’t the only thing needed for a successful team. An experienced coach is one of the most important aspects of the swim team.
As a former USC and Olympic swimmer, Gabe Woodward has all the experience needed to take TMU’s new swim team to the next level.
“Our goal is to lay the foundation for a program that honors the Lord,” said Woodward. “I’m going to continue to recruit fast kids and we want to see the program succeed and grow in a way that honors the Lord.”
The team has two qualified coaches and a group of swimmers ready. The only thing missing from the mix is a pool on campus for the team to practice in. As of right now, the team has been commuting to the pool at the Boys and Girls Club in Newhall. Woodward has been hard at work trying to push the school to build a pool on campus.
“The goal is to build an on-campus Olympic sized pool. We’ve looked at the tennis courts since they’re flat, nobody uses them, and they’re close to the dorms,” Woodward said. “The idea would be to start a water polo team as well. Hopefully that happens sooner rather than later.”
Even if the construction of an on-campus pool in the future is distant, there is one thing that TMU students can expect for this year: the swim team is ready to make their mark this season.
Journey Werner, a freshman on the swim team, is looking forward to the team’s future.
“The coaches came in knowing that this program was going to explode,” Werner said. “Master’s is already getting so much hype in the name and swim just added to that. We’re really excited to get our name on that block.”