Strong showing for swim and dive club team builds confidence for the future

GVL / Bo Anderson

GV Club Swim & Dive Team member Greg Rupp swims the mixed 1000 yard freestyle on Saturday Morning.

Bo Anderson

GVL / Bo Anderson GV Club Swim & Dive Team member Greg Rupp swims the mixed 1000 yard freestyle on Saturday Morning.

Bryce Derouin

Despite a lack of experience compared to their opponents, the newly-formed Grand Valley State co-ed club swimming team showed that it has what it takes to be competitive.

The Lakers dropped a 130-112 decision to Central Michigan University in what was the first swim meet for the newest GVSU club team.

“We really just wanted to have a good time,” said head coach Brian Riemersma. “It’s the first meet ever for GVSU, so it was about getting the swim club off the ground and have fun doing it.”

Club president, sophomore Tim Layer, was excited to see the team enjoying their first meet experience.

“I’m glad the team is enjoying themselves out there because that’s the biggest thing,” said Layer, who placed first in the 200-yard freestyle, second in the 100-yard breaststroke and third in the 50-yard butterfly. “When our team is supporting us and cheering us, they have your back. Team chemistry is something that helps towards our success.”

The team said it felt satisfied with its performance against an already-established club team.

“To have a fairly close meet with a club that has been around for four or five years is a really good showing for us,” said sophomore Mitch Fisher, who finished first in the 50-yard butterfly, second in the 200-yard individual medley and third in the 100-yard breaststroke. “We won the majority of the events, so we just need to work on our depth. We definitely feel more confident than when we came in.”

Even with the success the Lakers were able to have, they still realize that they have areas they can improve upon on.

“We can be a little bit more organized from a practice standpoint,” Riemersma said. “That helps us to work on the depth of our group. But I think everyone is really happy with how this turned out and how we performed, so we’ll go from there.”

One key factor that helps drives the club team is their chemistry and bond they have with each other. That message has been communicated from the coach to the players as well, with chemistry again being one of the biggest points of emphasis going forward.

“I think each meet we have we are going to be more built to compete because our chemistry is building,” Layar said. “As we keep working, we get more camaraderie and we get stronger.”

GVSU is currently lacking in depth. They hope to add more people to their club to improve
in this area, specifically with adding girls to the team.

This meet was a confidence builder for GVSU, and the team now feels like they can compete at a high level against other club teams.

“We definitely feel like we will be able to compete with most of the other clubs,” Fisher said.

The GVSU swim club team will next be in action on March 16th, when they host the Tri-meet at 6 p.m.