Written by Student Assistant McKenna Morin
TACOMA, Wash. – The Pacific Lutheran University men's and women's swimming programs look to continue its success from last year, returning to the pool this weekend at a pair of Northwest Conference events in Oregon.
The Lutes open the season on Friday evening in Portland, Oregon at the Northwest Conference Sprints hosted by Lewis & Clark College before taking the water on Saturday at the NWC Relays at Pacific University in Forest Grove.
After having the summer off the team is back and ready to dominate again this year. The women's team obliterated the competition at the NWC Championships last spring, hoisting their third consecutive league title while the men placed third for their sixth consecutive upper division finish under four-time NWC Coach of the Year Matt Sellman.
While spending a large amount of time in the pool and on dry land training in the weight room, the team has also been focusing on their objectives as a team for this season.
"We've also spent a lot of time on goal setting and team building so we can work intelligently towards achieving and having a fun and fast season," Head Coach Matt Sellman said.
"They've spent an exceptional amount of time working to build on the tradition and culture we've cultivated these past few years."
The swim team has represented PLU very strongly in the past few years and has high hopes to continue their success. Both the men's and women's teams are hoping to have the opportunity to become conference champions and qualify for NCAA Division III championships. The women return 13 student-athletes from last year's squad, including All-NWC selections Reese Ackman, Sarah Ameny, Luna Kim, Erica Muller, and Kylie Webb while the men return 12 competitors from 2015-2016, including All-League performers Bryson Baligad, Hunter Cosgrove, Bradley Jerome, Paul Jett, Matt Wehr, Jacob Goodman, Cody Hartman, Dennis Liu, and Bennon VanHoof.
While having high expectations for this year in the water, the team also wants to have a strong presence outside of the pool as well.
"We really want to continue being successful academically and being a strong leadership presence on campus," Sellman said.
The team is excited to get their season under way this weekend in hopes of showing off their growth in the water and as a team. The team has been putting in work to help them grow and succeed as a team.
Sellman is "excited to see what we can accomplish this year as a team."