Women’s Millikin Swimming

Alex A. Kennedy

The drop-in temperature, the early nightfall before 6:00, and the snowfall that happened last week can only mean one thing: winter is almost here. It is time to start knocking the dust off your heaviest jackets, and drink hot cocoa by the gallon. 

However, in your pursuit to keep warm, as you walk across campus you may notice a few students dressed head to toe in a long blue trench coat that seems to cover their entire body. That is the Millikin swim team, wearing their signature parka, which is warm enough to contain the wet hair on top of their heads. 

Over the past summer, the team has witnessed some change in coaches, and added a large sum of freshmen. Over the summer a two new assistant coaches, Assistant Coach Grace Van Ryckeghem and Assistant Coach Lauren Nesbit. Coach Van Ryckeghem is coach and assistant coach to the triathlon and swim team, respectively. 

However, the team’s head coach remains the same exemplary Coach Molly Duesterhaus. Coach Duesterhaus has led the team for over the past five years and has made excellent progress with almost all of her swimmers that have been under her coaching. 

The swim team’s season started in the middle of September with their first meet being on October 26th, against Augustana. The team suffered a major defeat but was able to win the next two competitions against, Knox College and Carroll University. 

The next meet the swimmers have will be in Chicago, at the University of Chicago, this is an invitational, meaning there will be multiple teams competing simultaneously. Millikin’s next home meet will be on Saturday, February 1st. at 2:00 p.m., clear your schedules and come out a support, next semester. 

  As for members of the Millikin swim team, the girl’s team is comprised of juniors through freshmen. The team’s students come from across the nation and the world, reaching as far west as California and east as Malaysia. 

Last year’s team consisted of fifteen women who crushed times and brought a new dynamic to the swimmer’s atmosphere, this year’s team consists of eighteen swimmers, with an increase of three swimmers, the hopes of the female swimmers to dominate this season run high. 

Highlights of last season made conclusions that Olivia ‘Liv’ Marquardt, a current sophomore on the team, created a reputation last year of being one of the fastest sprinters and butterfliers on the team. 

After the meet with Carroll University it is safe to say that this reputation precedes Marquardt as she heads further into the season. Winning first place in the 100-Yard Butterfly with a time of 1:00.46. Last season, Marquardt was also awarded the CCIW All-Conference title. 

On the opposing hand, Hope Roderick and Avery Fisher are the designated distance swimmers of the team. Distance in swimming could mean from the middle distance of 200-Yards, a sprint distance to a Mile (1650-Yards) of swimming, with several races in between to increase the mileage. 

Finishing first and second in the 1000-yard Freestyle at Carroll, both these sophomores crushed last year’s expectations and will continue to thrive as they go proceed faster into the next meet.

The freshmen on the team are spectacles to behold as they sail into the ongoing season. Kelli Sangton, is rising to the top as one of the next fastest sprinters on the team. At the last meet Sangton got second behind, Brigid Duesterhaus (another lively swimmer from the sophomore class), with a time of 57.84. Sangton was also in a 400 medley relay, with Duesterhaus, Marquardt, and Fiona Rosko to secure first place.