Iowa Lakes swim team heads to nationals; women earn Scholar All-America honor
Ten Iowa Lakes Community College students have earned a chance to compete in next month’s NJCAA National Swimming and Diving meet in Fort Pierce, Florida.
“This team has a lot of high rankings so I would expect to see them to be in quite a few finals,” said Miranda Anderson, head swim and dive coach at Iowa Lakes. “I’m excited to see how fast they can go.”
Members of the men’s team who are heading to nationals are Hylton Collinson of Johannesburg, South Africa, who will compete in 400IM, 200IM, 200 breaststroke and 100 breaststroke; and Gabriel Carmona of Sao Paulo, Brazil, who will compete in 200IM, 100 fly, 100 breaststroke and 200 breaststroke.
The women who will compete are Monique Dias of Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil, who will compete in 200IM, 400IM, 200 fly, 1650 free, 800 free relay, 400 free relay, 400 medley relay and 200 medley relay; Gabriela Reis of Petropolis, Brazil, who will compete in 50 breaststroke, 200 free, 500 free, 200 breaststroke, 800 free relay, 400 free relay, 400 medley relay and 200 medley relay; Brenda Neves of Santa Barbara D’Oeste, Brazil, who will compete in 50 breaststroke, 200 free, 100 breaststroke, 200 breaststroke, 800 free relay, 400 free relay, 400 medley relay and 200 medley relay; Shayna Asuncion of Ewa Beach, Hawaii, who will compete in 50 breaststroke, 400IM, 100IM, 200 breaststroke, 800 free relay, 400 free relay, 400 medley relay and 200 medley relay; Michelle Harrison of Guelph, Canada, who will compete in 1,000 free, 400 IM, 200 fly, 50 fly and 200 freestyle relay; and Meghan Harrison of Guelph, Canada, who will compete in 200 freestyle relay along with Sarah Reid of Ewa Beach, Hawaii and Madison McCarty of Fort Worth, Texas.
The students will board a bus at 2 a.m. March 5 and head for the Minneapolis International Airport in Minnesota. There, they’ll get on a plane to Florida, arriving in plenty of time to rest up for the March 7-10 nationals at Indian River State College.
Many swimmers are tapering in order to prepare for the meet, meaning they swim less and try to get more rest, saving up energy for the upcoming competition and allowing their muscles to fully heal, Anderson explained.
“Everyone has a different way to prepare mentally for Nationals and I leave that up to the swimmers but if they need a support system or advice I am right there to pick them up and help them mentally prepare as well,” she added.
Women’s team honored for academics
The Iowa Lakes women’s swim and dive team is one of just four women’s teams in the NJCAA to be named a Scholar All-America team for the Fall 2017 semester.
To earn the distinction from the College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America, teams had to post a GPA of 3.0 or higher during the semester. The Iowa Lakes women posted a 3.30, an average that included all eligible varsity student-athletes.
“They are student-athletes which means they need to be students first,” Anderson said. “…I remind them that there is a point where they won’t be athletes anymore and they will be done with their swimming career. Their education is what is going to take them the rest of the way in life.”
Students who expect to transfer to four-year schools also need good grades so their credits will transfer—and so that they don’t fall behind their peers, Anderson added.
The team keeps up with their schoolwork through grade checks and study halls, as well as just talking about academics.
“This year sophomores have been great leaders and really helped the freshmen understand that grades matter,” Anderson said.
The swim team also does community service as a group, such as helping out at the VFW pancake feed.
“When you go to look for a job they aren’t going to care how many records you set or how many games you played or started in. They are going to be looking for that degree and if you are a good person,” Anderson said. “So focus on your grades to get that degree and let the sport you play turn you into that good person that any boss would want to hire.”