Augsburg to Share a Coaching Staff for Womens Swimming and Diving

Devin Schelske, sports editor

Willow Hansen competes in the one meter diving event at the Concordia University St. Paul dual meet captured by Brandon Dugan on Jan. 21 

The Augsburg Womens Swimming and Diving team has struggled to find a coach for the 2023-2024 season until just recently with a creative solution. They are currently training with the Hamline Swimming and Diving coaching staff at Bush Center Pool. By the looks of things, this arrangement will continue for the rest of the season. However, the two teams are still separate from one another and practice different events from each other. “We can’t do the same workouts. So if Hamline is doing 100 meter freestyle relays, we’d have to practice something like 200 meter breaststroke relays. We can’t do the same things otherwise the NCAA counts it as a competition,” said sophomore diver Willow Hansen when discussing how team practices work given their coaching situation. 

Last year, the team took last place or was unable to finish in any meet due to an incomplete roster. A complete roster requires eight swimmers (two relay groups of four) and the roster for the 2022-23 season was made up of seven swimmers. Unfortunately, the roster size has decreased to six for the 2023-2024 season and Augsburg won’t be in a position to place as a team. Swimmers and divers on the Augsburg team are not recruited from high school, rather Auggie students are able to join the team if they are interested. “I was actually a dancer and a gymnast in high school, but because we [Augsburg] don’t have a gymnastics team, I chose diving. I said I’d be interested in joining and from there they [the coaches] kind of recruited me. One of the coaches from last year reached out to me and called me a few times. That’s kind of what made me want to join more,” said Hansen on the recruiting process. 

Hansen is definitely one to watch this season as the team’s only diver. Hansen recorded an 82.6 score at the 2022 Concordia University-St. Paul dual meet and a personal best 104.75 score at the Hamline University Triangular. Hansen also competed at the Gustavus Adolphus College Grace Goblirsch Invitational. A swimmer to watch is junior Lexci Wuorenma, arguably the quickest on the team. At the 2022 College of Saint Benedict quadrangular meet, Wuorenma placed 3rd out of 15 swimmers in the 100 yard freestyle event with a time of 57.83. At the same meet, she also placed 3rd out of 14 swimmers in the 200 yard freestyle event with a time of 2:09.68. At the MIAC championships, Wuorenma had the best individual finish placing 22nd out of 35 swimmers in the 100 yard freestyle event with a time of 56.53. She also tied the eighth quickest finish time in school history for the 50 yard freestyle event with a personal best time of 25.69.

The Auggies will compete against the swimmers and divers they share a pool with during their first meet of the season on Oct. 21 at the Hamline Relay Invite taking place at Bush Center Pool on Hamline’s campus.