SDSU women’s swim team gets win over USD in final home meet of season

by Joseph Faria, Staff Writer

With the start of the 2016 spring semester underway at San Diego State, the women’s swim team opened up with a victory over crosstown rival University of San Diego last Friday. The Aztecs won 145-131, with a few of the events not scored.

It was the final home meet of the season for the team and a farewell to the senior athletes.

“It was an emotional meet for me because of our six seniors,” head coach Mike Shrader said. “They’ve led us all the way this season and all four years. They put their heart and soul into their work every day.”

The six seniors on the Aztecs include Laura Day, Shannon Herman, Taylor Johnson, Savannah Miller, Natilee Ruiz and Whitney Weisz.

Shrader said he was truly blessed. Even though emotions ran high throughout the meet, the drive and energy pushed the Aztecs to a victory over the Toreros.

“We got off to a nice start and raced really well,” Shrader said. “Our backstrokers especially set the tone, put us ahead and therefore we never looked back.”

The Aztecs won 12 of the 17 events on Friday, sweeping in both the 100- and 200-yard backstroke, as well as the 100- and 200-yard breaststroke.

“Individually, we’ve been going through a lot of hard training recently,” Herman said. “We’re all pretty broken down. Winter training is usually the hardest part of the season for us. However, we put that aside for today and just went out and raced.”

Herman finished second in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:08.50 and first in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:24.82.

“I was anxious to race today,” she said. “In the 100 breaststroke, I could see my teammates at my side cheering me on and pushing me. So I try to keep up with my competitors and teammates and do the best I can.”

As the Aztecs move into the final stretch of the season, they’ve kept the same theme they’ve had all year long: teammates supporting one another.

“This year we’ve been amazing at being great cheerleaders as well as teammates,” Herman said. “We’ve supported each other through tough training and we look forward to all the good times to come in the next month or so.”

That support and contagious energy has not only bonded the team, but now puts them in a championship position.

“I think as a team we’ve been focusing on the small aspects of our races and getting in all our hard training,” Herman said. “We spend a lot of time working on our turns just because that’s an area where you can beat teams alone.”

The excitement has built up for this moment and the team is ready to swim more than ever.

“They’re ready for this,” Shrader said. “The girls have prepared for months and I know they all want this. They’re having fun. I believe in them.”

The season schedule concludes with the Mountain West Championships in College Station, Texas, from Feb. 17-20. Then come the NCAA Championships in Atlanta, Georgia, from March 18-20.