Luther Swim and Dive hosts alumni meet


Mckendra Heinke ('21) - Photo Bureau

Luther students and alumni prepare to swim at the alumni meet in 2018.

On Oct. 5, Luther hosted the annual Swim and Dive Alumni meet in the David E.G. and Patricia Miller Natatorium. Both the men’s and women’s teams participated in this meet. This was the first meet of the year for the teams.  Jack Meehan (‘23) went in not sure what to expect. 

“I knew somewhat that it wasn’t going to be a regular meet, but it was even more relaxed than I expected,” Meehan said. “It was a very different kind of meet that was a lot of fun to open the season with.  I really enjoyed all the cheers and team energy, and getting to see the alumni.”

The meet included a variety of nontraditional events.  Notable races included an alumnus swimming the 50-meter freestyle with a stack of 12 kickboards and turning around 10 meters into the race to finish first.  Another pair of alumni swam the 50 meter backstroke with pool noodles in hand.   

This year, the Luther swim and dive team is bringing in a new head coach and some new swimmers and divers.  Head Men’s and Women’s Swim and Dive Coach Aaron Zander (‘10) is excited to begin the new season as it brings back memories of his years competing as a swimmer for  Luther. 

“Swimming at Luther was one of the best experiences of my entire life,” Zander said.  “The culture, the way we pushed each other to be better not just in the pool but in life, that is my main motivation in coming back.  It’s very surreal to be back.  This is a year of transition and change, and I am already excited to see how the team is working together and how that family unit is forming.” 

While the races at the alumni meet were timed and had winners and losers, Zander prefers not to focus on the results, especially because of the atmosphere surrounding the meet. 

“I was really impressed with the freshmen at their first college meet,” Zander said.   “Having 70 alums in the stands and swimming with you can be pretty anxiety raising, but they handled it very well.  The meet is supposed to be a fun experience.  I won’t point out any [individual performances] in particular because the meet is about the alumni, not about the Luther swimmers.” 

The diving portion of the meet went by faster than the swimming portion because there was only one Luther diver there.  Due to injury, Landon Albro (‘21) is making the transition from swimming to diving. 

During the meet, some alumni tried their hand at diving, attempting  non-traditional dives and earning perfect scores along the way.  Christian Johnson (‘23) is hoping that the positivity and optimism present at the meet carries over to the rest of the season. 

“I’m just excited about getting faster this season and seeing what it is like being on a college team now,” Johnson said.  “I also want to keep having more fun with the team as the season continues.  The team is really tight, and I feel like we have gotten really close in a short amount of time.”   

Meehan has similar goals for the season. 

“I see us having a great season,” Meehan said. “Our new coach is bringing a lot of good energy, and we have a lotw of good returners and potential with newcomers. Everyone is very excited for this season to get started.”

Danica Nolton (’22) – Photo Bureau
Luther swimmers compete in the Norse Sprint Invitational on Jan.12,2019.
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