November 2, 2017
After six weeks of practice and anticipation, the Thunder Men’s Swimming team began their season on Saturday as they hosted the seventh-ranked University of Chicago Maroons. It was their first meet under new Head Coach Jacob Ayers, and their first without Coach Jon Lederhouse in over 40 years. They started the season off strong, as they won every race except one, winning the meet 139-66. Freshman Will Rinne got his college career off to a superb start in the meet, as he won the 200 yard individual medley and the 200 yard breaststroke and was part of the winning 400 yard medley relay team. His performance earned him CCIW Men’s Swimmer of the Week honors. According to Ayers, the team was very excited for their first meet of the season. “This was a really fun week as we got closer to our first competition,” he said. “Everyone was excited that it was a home meet, and that it was against a team that we’ve had pretty close races and good competition with.” He also stated that he enjoyed his first meet as the team’s head coach. “It’s nice to have that experience [of coaching my first meet] under your belt. … and it’s nice to finally represent the college in that public arena, that was very fun for me.”
Before the meet, the captains met to discuss the team’s goals for the season. Senior Jack O’Connor explained that he and the other captains want the team to be competitive in both practices and meets, and to instill an excitement for the sport in them. He also expressed confidence in their chances to win the conference and even send some swimmers to the Division III NCAA National Meet in March.
The Thunder return to the pool on Friday, as they host the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee at 4:30 p.m.