May 29, 2024

The Wittenberg Swimming and Diving team is off to a great start this year. They are currently 3-2 in dual meets, which is already better than last year.
Sam Bott, ’19, said that it is because “everyone’s bonding really well and having a good time with it.”
The Swimming and Diving team gained two new coaches this year, and it seems to be paying off. Assistant swim coach Sivan Pardon, and graduate assistant coach Laura Harting, joined head coach Will Bernhardt, who is in his second year here at Witt, at the beginning of this season. The coaches have been pushing the swimmers harder this year, and did a “great job at recruiting freshman” this year, Bott said, bringing a new vibe to the team.
So far this season, the Tigers have been swimming against schools inside and outside of the NCAC conference.
“I think it’s pretty cool,” Bott said.
By taking on teams both in the conference and out, the team is getting to challenge themselves against all sorts of different teams. In December, the team will be heading down to Florida to train and get ready for the second half of their season that picks up again after break.
On Nov. 4, the Tigers swam against Wilmington College’s Quakers and Transylvania University’s Pioneers. The meet went swimmingly for the Tigers, and the results of that meet gave a big boost to the team’s morale.
During that meet, Bott swam in the men’s 1,000-yard free and came in first with a time of 11:01:26. Bott also came in fifth for the men’s 200-yard breast with a time of 2:28:33, and swam in the men’s 200-yard free relay with Bradley Barren, ’20, Paul Salay, ’19 and Kyle Smith, ‘18. The relay team came in first in relay A, with a time of 1:32:40.
Bott hails all the way from Des Moines, Iowa. He is majoring in environmental science and minoring in marine science. He is hoping to work with wildlife conservation after he graduates from Wittenberg in 2019.
He chose Witt specifically for its option to have marine science as a minor instead of strictly as a major, and of course for the option to swim while going to school. Apart from being a member of the swim team, Bott is also a member of Delta Tau Delta.
The team will have its first home meet of the season on Nov. 17 at 6 p.m. against the Ohio Northern University Polar Bears. The event is the team’s Code Red event of the season and the swimmers and divers are hoping for a huge turnout.
When asked if the Polar Bears could swim better than the Tigers, Bott said, “I don’t know, but I hope not,” and that the meet should go well. The team is “ahead of the game” and has a “great coaching staff” behind them.
There will be two home meets for the Tigers during the second semester: the first on Jan. 13, against the Patriots of the University of Cumberlands and the second on Jan. 19 against the Anderson University Trojans.

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