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Swim prepares for the new season with high expectations

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Article Originally Published by Lidianna Reyes on North Texas Daily

Article Originally Published by Lidianna Reyes on North Texas Daily

The swim team had a record-setting 2020-21 season, with swimmers medaling in four events at the Conference USA championships, and the team earning 3rd overall — the best finish in program history. 

During the off-season, the team hired Justin Hastings in hopes that he can bring a fresh perspective that can push them over the hump as an assistant coach.

“Helping bring new ideas into the team in terms of training and techniques and thoughts about their strokes,” Hastings said. “To help them see the sport differently in their brains and to get better.”

 Hastings has coached high school, club, Division 2 and now Division 1 swimming. He says that his experience in coaching and swimming at different levels will bring new knowledge and unique stories to the swimmers. 

“I like to connect with my athletes at a personal level with a story about my own swimming or about the past athletes I have coached to help them overcome the struggles they might have,” Hastings said.

Senior swimmer Jordan Gorham swims the distance freestyle and the 400 IM. Gorham was part of the team that got 3rd in the C-USA championships. Her goal this season is to have fun, but also to leave her mark on UNT in her last season of swimming. Despite her own personal goals, Gorham is excited for the diverse group of swimmers and the potential of the freshmen class. 

“We have a very good freshman class, and a very diverse group this year,” Gorham said. “I am excited about dual meets, mid-season and conference. I am also excited for senior day but also for the conference to close this chapter of my career.”

Senior swimmer Karigan Stanley swims the 500 freestyle, 400 IM and butterfly. Stanley says that her goal this season is to make the most of this year in order to leave satisfied. There are also plenty of new features this season that she is looking forward to.

“Last year in the postseason we talked about what kind of team we wanted to be,” Stanley said. “I think this year we are striving for that goal and it has been pretty good so far.”

Both Gorham and Stanley commented that during the offseason the team goes home for the summer. While they do not have a strict training regimen in the summer, it is expected that they stay in shape so that in the fall, they can get straight to practice.

With it being Gorham’s last year, she plans on making a difference by making good connections with the girls and coming back to the alumni meet, hoping that people want to see her.

Stanley echoes Gorham but also mentions her desire to be a role model for the younger class. She wants to be a person the underclassmen swimmers will look up to and follow, though she makes sure to emphasize that being a team is just as important.

“I want to lead by example and have the younger girls see what a great team can be and strive for that in the future,’ Stanley said.

Both Gorham and Stanley gave similar advice for the younger swimmers. 

“It goes by faster than you think,” Stanley said. “Do not put as much pressure on yourself, have fun.”

The team’s next event is the Green vs White meet in the PEB Natatorium in Denton on Saturday.

Featured Image: The UNT swim team practices in the Pohl Recreation Center on Oct. 4, 2021. Photo by John Anderson

Source: North Texas Daily

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