Column: Swim teams bring excitement, energy


Sean Hastings

Sophomore Alex Laleian finished 3rd in 1,000-yard freestyle against Evansville Friday night at the Padovan Pool.

Tyler McCluskey, Swim Reporter

Junior Matt Jacobs achieved his first ever Summit League swimmer of the week. Jacobs earned a first-place finish in the 100 breast with a time of 57.36 seconds and broke his own pool record.

Jacobs also took first in the 100 individual medley, earning a team record.

This was the first time they competed in the event. The last Panther to win the award was Matt O’Hagen in 2012.

The swimmers bring an excitement that I have not seen from any other team.

Yeah, teams cheer for their teammates all the time, but with the swim teams, the Panthers are always on the edge of the pool yelling and screaming and cheering on their teammates.

When in the Padovan Pool, not only does the team get into it, the crowd does also.

The pool sometimes gets so loud, you can barely hear, and that is without a band and much music playing.

In the teams’ last meet against Evansville, coach Jacqueline Michalski said the energy was exciting.

“There was a lot of really close races and that is always exciting to watch,” Michalski said. “To cheer each other on and really come together as a team and support each other ­— not just the men but also the men supporting the women and the women supporting the men — leads for a good environment and positivity.”

Jacobs said that in the meet against Evansville, the team had a lot more energy compared to the meet against IUPUI.

“We were a lot more involved as far as cheering on people while they were racing,” Jacobs said. “We posted good times no matter what the score said.”

One way the team stays excited and keeps close is that the team just recently did the internet sensation “mannequin challenge.”

Michalski said that it was an easy one to do and said this one did not take a lot of planning compared to some other “challenges.”

“We did it in three takes,” Michalski said. “It took us like 20 minutes over in the weight room. So it was pretty easy, and they’re all really strong so they can hold some of those positions, squat with a bunch of weight on them.”

“They were really good and very willing to do that even though they already lifted that day, swam practice and did some running,” Michalski said.

I am sure more Eastern teams will do the “mannequin challenge” because watching these things is pretty sweet.

The swim teams are in for an exciting year, and the team is having fun so far, which will lead to the success later in the year.

The excitement will show this weekend at the House of Champions hosted by IUPUI.

Tyler McCluskey can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].