The Tiger swimming and diving teams have had many successful seasons and hope to continue the tradition this year.
Last year the women’s team won their 12th conference championship and the men’s team won their fourth conference championship.
The team also sent eight swimmers and two divers to nationals, the most they have ever sent, and also placed in the top 25 teams for the second year in a row.
It has not always been so easy for the team, however. Two years ago their coach had to undergo emergency eye surgery, and he consequently missed most of the season.
Lindsey Ulin, a senior swimming the 50 and 100 meter freestyle, spoke on how the team came together.
“Everyone stepped up,” Ulin said. “We went on to bring home the conference title.”
The team is bringing in new assistant coach Scott Trumpeter from San Antonio, who swam for the University of Texas and coached at the University of the Incarnate Word.
“A lot of us are looking forward to learning from what Scott, our new assistant coach, has to offer,” said Charles Clark, a sophomore swimming the 100 meter backstroke and the 200 meter butterfly.
A strong team dynamic has always been a staple for the Trinity program.
“The team is like one big family,” Ulin said.
Bethany Rysak, entering her second year at Trinity, speaks on her perspective of the team atmosphere:
“It’s a very diverse group of people who wouldn’t hesitate to go out on a limb for each other.”
The team even has some pre-game rituals that help them get pumped for the meet. The cheer is led by Tom Jones, a senior on the team who also plays football at Trinity. The cheer starts with Tom saying, “Hey Tigers! Y’all ready to throw down?” while the team replies with, “You know! You know!”
“The energy this cheer brings to the team really helps us get hyped and focused for the meet,” Jones said.
The seniors this year are ready to step up and lead the team to more championships.
“The team took a huge hit when we graduated our three senior sprinters Stephen Culberson, Adam Thomas and Kevin Thomas,” said senior Andrew Thiesse, who swims the 500 meter freestyle and 200 meter backstroke.
Being a senior leader isn’t just about what happens in the water. Part of the team dynamic is having the upperclassmen help the freshman with classes and school to take some stress off of them.
“I am just glad that I have the opportunity to return the favor for the incoming freshman,” Thiesse said.
The team strives to keep everyone on the same level by treating everyone equally and having good team support.
“Our team has always had a philosophy of everyone leading by example and being there to help our new swimmers, regardless of age,” Ulin said.
The team has high hopes for the season and wants to bring home another conference championship.
“We are looking pretty good this season, with ten incoming freshman swimmers and one diver,” Ulin said, additionally citing “three surprise returners who will add depth to our roster.”
Rysak is also excited about the season and possibility of bringing home another trophy.
“I can’t help but be excited about the chance of possibly putting a 13th straight conference title under our belts,” said Rysak.
To be able to achieve their goals, the team will need to focus on key goals during the season.
“Our victories will come from being more competitive with each other,” Thiesse said. “We have a very talented team this year and it looks like it will be a very successful season if we practice well and race each other throughout the season.”
With encouraging thoughts from seniors and returners, the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams hope to have another successful season.
The teams kick off their season with a home meet this October.
You can follow the team on Twitter @TWMSD for updates and details about meets and results.