Truman swimmers head to nationals

The regular season might be finished for the Truman State swim team, but some swimmers are getting ready to dive into the national championships.

The men’s and women’s swim teams competed against seven other GLVC teams at the GLVC Championships Feb. 11-14 in Crawfordsville, Indiana, including one of the ‘Dogs’ biggest rivals — Drury University. The women placed second overall, trailing Drury, while the men placed sixth. Based on their performances, several Truman swimmers have earned a competition spot at the NCAA championships March 11-14 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Freshman Will Shanel earned an A-cut time with his performance in the 400 IM during the GLVC conference, meaning he automatically will move on to NCAA nationals next month. Shanel finished with a final time of 3:51.16.

Shanel says he is excited to compete at nationals, especially after earning an A-cut in the conference times his first year competing for Truman.

“In the last day’s morning cut, I had no idea where I was [in the standings],” Shanel says. “I wanted to keep everyone behind me, and I managed to do that pretty well. Knowing I’m headed to nationals … I’m definitely excited.”

Sophomore Evyn Spencer is expected to gain a spot for Truman at the national competition. She says the team has shown her a lot of support as well throughout the entire season.

Spencer competed at the national conference last year, but says she was extremely nervous last time. This year, Spencer says she has learned from her performance and is entering the meet hoping to conquer her fears.

“Nerves did not help me at all last year,” Spencer says. “Now I’m going into it with the mindset that it’s just another swim meet. I’ve worked really hard this season to get to where I am and now it’s time for me to see what I can do.”

Spencer says the team still is not technically finalized, because the swimmers still are waiting on official invitations to the meet, set to be released any day. She says those with A-cut times like Shanel automatically advance to nationals, while those with B-cut times must wait until the final times of all swimmers in the league complete their regular season.

Spencer’s time was close enough to the A-time cutoff that she says she is expected to advance. She says she will be competing in the 100 fly and 200 IM.

Spencer says going into the national conference, she hopes to do better than she did last year.

“The only goal I have is to not let my mind get the best of me,” Spencer says. “I don’t have any time goals or place goals. It would be nice to get the best times and get All-American status again, but honestly I just want to go in, have fun, and enjoy the last meet of the season. It’s been a fun year and it’s all been leading up to this.”