Truman State University men’s and women’s swim teams are gearing up for another successful year in the pool. The swimmers are improving despite setbacks at the beginning of the year. Competition starts soon and the swimmers are ready to face some of the best swimmers in Div. II with their eyes set on the national stage.
The loss of the team’s head coach, Ed Pretre, has been one of the major issues two weeks before the first practice. After leading the swim program at Truman State University for six years, Pretre left to pursue an assistant coaching position at Villanova University in Pennsylvania.
The search for a new head coach is nearing its close, and the team hopes to have the position filled by the end of September. The application closed September 9 with a total of 10 applicants.
“As a senior, I thought it could go one of two ways,” Betz said. “It can destroy the team, or everyone can rise above it and come through together — and that’s definitely what we’re doing. Nobody is complaining about that whatsoever.”
Betz said the Bulldogs were also without a pool and track. Because the track was being renovated and the pool was broken for chemical issues, the swim team had to get creative with their workouts. Betz said the team ran around campus and at the gym to compensate for not having a track.
“We went out to Thousand Hills and did a practice,” Betz said. “It was good team bonding because we don’t swim at Thousand Hills for every practice, so that was fun.”
The Bulldog men will look to overtake the University of Indianapolis to move up in the conference while the women hope to compete with Drury University for the conference championship.
Assistant Coach Jerod Simek has been on Truman’s coaching staff for two years since after graduating as a Bulldog. Simek was a nine-time honorable mention All-American. He currently is responsible for all coaching duties until a selection for a head coach can be made.
“I’ve felt like with the past two years of being the assistant here — and having swam here as well — I know pretty much how everything runs,” Simek said. “I know what the team needs and what they don’t, so it hasn’t been too much of a shock for them. The whole transition has been really good so far.”
Simek said the Bulldogs have a lot of incoming swimmers with diverse skills which he said translates into a team with a lot of depth and potential.
Freshmen Swimmers with Stroke(s)
- Austin Bell—Breast/IM
- Mark Franz—Free/Breast
- Jack McCormick—Free
- Jack McKenzie—Fly/Free
- Jake O’ Bryan—Breast/IM
- Shane Williams—Free
- Natalie Galluzo—Breast/IM/Fly
- Annika Hofer—Breast/IM
- Allison Garrett—IM/Breast/Free
- Ginny Schranck—Breast/IM
- Maddie Wilson—Free
- Sophomore New York University transfer Megan Mensinger—Free
“That drive, that passion and that motivation is a huge thing I’m seeing right now, and it’s very nice to see as an alumni,” Simek said.
The team will see its first action in the Bulldog Alumni Meet at 8:30 a.m. this Saturday in Kirksville, Mo.