Though the team success of the Concordia College swimming and diving team has been limited by its roster size over the last few seasons, a number of individuals and relay teams have managed to set records for the Cobbers.
Between 2016 and 2017, seven school records were broken. Although only one of those record setters, Ciara White, is swimming for the Cobbers this semester, head coach Gary Fisher expects records to continue falling
“I think especially with a couple of our freshman, with where they’re at now, it’d be disappointing if they don’t break records by the time we get to MIAC,” Fisher said.
Expectations are understandably high for the talented underclassmen that make up the majority of the team. Among the 13 girls currently on roster, six are freshman and three are sophomores. In the team’s two meets this season, those underclassmen have contributed in a big way.
Amy Warren is one of the team’s immediate freshman contributors. Warren’s 200 individual medley time in the first meet of the season, 2:21.05, is just over three seconds shy of the school record of 2:18.20.
“That’s my goal,” Warren said. “To break the 200 and 400 IM record before the end of the year.”
Though there are currently only four juniors competing for Concordia, White is leading the small group of upperclassmen and the team.
As a captain, White has made a noticeable effort to build team camaraderie according to Fisher. The burden of leadership has not dampened her love for the sport.
“It’s kind of hitting me that I’ll only have one year of swimming left after this year,” White said. “So I just want to have fun.”
Her use of “just” is kind of misleading. After finishing 10th at the MIAC championships last season in the 100-yard breastroke and contributing to a school record in the 400 medley relay, White makes it clear that she wants to get into the top eight spots at the conference meet this season.
If freshman diver Cassandra Bohnsack is able to qualify for the conference meet this season, she will have to compete alone. As the schools only diver on the roster and sometimes the only diver competing at smaller meets, Bohnsack is adjusting to the world of college athletics largely on her own, which is something she welcomes.
“I feel like I have more fun,” Bohnsack said. “Because then I’m not worrying about the competition as much.”
Despite feeling liberated without the pressure of competition the meets have not gone exactly how Bohnsack would’ve liked them to.
Bohnsack teammates, White in particular, have been impressed with the young diver and her coach has tried to help her by reassuring her of her abilities.
“Gary told me that they’re just practice and not to worry,” Bohnsack said. “That made me feel a little bit better.”
Fisher says he is happy with Bohnsack and the rest of the team since as a whole they’re performing better than they were at this point last season. He hopes that the improvements will help the Cobbers finish at least one spot higher in the conference standings and help them continue on their historic pace.
“I think we look at the relay records and we’d like to get at least some of the records,” Fisher said. “Whether it’s this year or next year [our goal] is to get those relay records so that they’re all in this decade.”
Concordia heads to Bismarck this Saturday to compete at the University of Mary.
The Cobbers next local meet is the Cobber/Dragon invite on Friday Dec. 1 and Saturday Dec. 2 at the Hulbert Aquatic Center in West Fargo. Events start both days at 12:00 p.m.