INDIANOLA, Iowa – Two competitions into the season, the Simpson swimming and diving teams will make their first splash in front of a home crowd when they host Loras at the Indianola YMCA on Friday, Nov. 22.
The dual marks the first for the Storm at their new home, which opened early this fall. The teams competed previously at Simpson's pool, which has since been filled in with the renovations of the Cowles/Carse fitness facilities. An agreement with the YMCA and the city of Indianola allows the Storm to compete at the new, state-of-the-art facility.
"I've seen a lot of pools in my years of coaching, but I think this is one of the best – if not the best – Division III facilities in the Midwest," head coach Tom Caccia said. "It's just a great swimming atmosphere and when we get the lights turned up in here and some fast swimming in here, it's a fun place to be. This is an exciting facility."
The dual with Loras means a little more for Caccia, who grew up near Dubuque in Platteville, Wis. and whose daughter swam at Loras. He is also long-time friends of Duhawk head coach, Doug Colin.
"Loras is special to me," he said. "If I were to look at anyone in the conference to open up with, Loras would be my pick."
Boasting some of the largest squad sizes in recent memory – 12 women and 11 men – the Storm have experienced some success early in the season. The men placed second of three teams at the season-opening Augsburg Pentathlon on Oct. 19 while the women took third of five.
"At both meets we've had an entry in every event with the exception of three-meter diving," Caccia said. "To have someone in each event is the first step to really adding depth to the team."
Although there are only a handful of returners on each squad, Caccia believes they are the linchpin to the team's success.
"They've taken over a leadership role," he said of the returners. "You have to have that. You have to have someone is going to go out and set an example."
The first duals of the season saw Simpson face regional powers Luther and Augustana on Saturday, Nov. 16. The women fell to Luther 203-24 and Augustana 180-34 while the men lost to Luther 173-18 and Augustana 185-23.
Despite the early setback, the times registered by Simpsons swimmers put the team ahead of where it was a year ago at this time.
"Everybody has been very receptive the new program," Caccia said.
The Loras dual begins at 6 p.m. at the brand new Indianola YMCA just North of town on Highway 65/69.
Augsburg Pentathlon Highlights
- Kyle McKim won the 100 breaststroke (1:07.83)
- Mitchell Madson placed third in the 100 individual medley (1:03.12)
- Dylan Gray placed third in the 100 breaststroke (1:08.87)
- Steven Best placed fifth in the 100 breaststroke (1:12.75)
- Haley Blum placed fifth in the 100 breaststroke (1:18.24) and tenth in the 100 IM (1:11.23)
- Christina Amburgy placed 10th in the 100 butterfly (1:10.10)
Luther/Augustana Dual Highlights
- Gray placed third in the 40 freestyle (23.87)
- McKim placed third in the 100 breaststroke (1:04.92)
- James Tillison placed fourth in the 1,650 freestyle (19:32.33)
- Meredith Farrell placed fifth in the 500 freestyle (6:00.45)
- Amburgy placed fifth in the 100 freestyle (58.18) and sixth in the 50 freestyle (26.74)