Auggie Swim & Dive Compete at St. Catherine’s

Trinity Boehlke, staff writer

Augsburg Swim and Dive broke records at St. Kate’s on Feb. 26, in an event that featured Augsburg, St. Kate’s and Concordia Moorhead.

Freshman Kaitlyn Haag had a great day, finishing in first place in her 100 breaststroke with a 1:17.26 time. Sasha Perez-Ortiz, another freshman for the Auggies, dropped three seconds from her 100 freestyle and broke 30 seconds in her 50 free event. Kristian Kaldhahl dropped one second off of her 200 free event.

The 400 medley relay team with Morgan Mangal, Kaitlyne Haag, Lily Helmer and Beth Milam dropped three seconds for a final time of 4:46.86. 

When asked about the meet, senior Morgan Mangal stated “The meet last Friday went really smoothly. Times were not our best but we had a tough week of practice.” Mangal has been on the team through all four years of her career at Augsburg. During the meet she was swam 26.19 50 freestyle. She said it wasn’t her best time but that she gained perspective on what she can work on to succeed in the future. 

“Given all the circumstances, I was just happy to be able to get in the water again and actually compete, so I didn’t really have high expectations as we weren’t promised a season and when we were granted the ability to swim I was so excited.” said Mangal, whose appreciation to have a season during the pandemic is shared with the rest of the Swim and Dive team.

COVID-19 has had quite the effect on the Augsburg Swim and Dive roster. At the beginning of the season the team had 15 swimmers, which was already a large dip in numbers after the year before, and now there are eight. In light of COVID-19 regulations, this actually worked out quite well for the team in regards to safety.

“Another thing that has been difficult to get used to is no fans in the stands watching us.” mentioned Mangal. Anyone who has been to a swim and dive meet knows that the pool is always filled with cheering and yelling from the swimmers and also the crowd. Usually during meets, you can barely hear yourself think, but now with COVID-19 there are social distancing and mask regulations, meaning the pool has gone silent during meets. The event is live-streamed, but the deck is quiet, which has been discouraging for some of the swimmers.

You can virtually cheer on the Swim & Dive team through their live streams. The Auggies Swim & Dive Team’s next meet will be at the University of Minnesota on March 6 and 7.