Three years ago, Indiana Wesleyan University started its men’s swim and dive team. Now, the team looks to the Mid-South Conference Championships to make their mark as competitors in the sport.
The IWU swim team just recently secured its first program win against Campbellsville University on Jan. 13, giving them a record of 1-4 this season. The men’s swimming program remains one of the school’s newest and has yet to fill out its roster.
The team is comprised of eight students. They are led by their coach Michael Morales.
Coach Morales is finishing his second season of coaching the men’s swim and dive team.
“We’re looking to have sixteen next year and then a full roster the following year, which would be anywhere between 20 to 25,” said Morales.
Starting any new program up can be difficult, and the Wildcats have had their fair share of trials.
“The biggest struggle is that it’s new, but also the biggest highlight is that it’s new. So, I get to build the culture the way that I want to,” Morales said.
Even though the swim team doesn’t have enough swimmers to contend with larger schools, Morales still emphasized the improvement within the team.
“I want this team to continue to put up better numbers each year as we go,” Morales said.
Fabrizzio Sandoval-Salinas, a freshman swimmer from Peru, has fit in well with the program.
“I like my team because it feels like we are family. And we’re improving every day,” Sandoval-Salinas said.
Hannah Miller, Associate Athletic Director for Internal Operations, has been in charge of supervising the swim team since its inception.
“For me, I think a sign of progress is that we’ve got people swimming in most or all events and they’re swimming their best and that’s what we always want,” Miller said.
The Wildcats finish their season in Columbus, Georgia, where they’ll compete in the NAIA National Championships from March 6-8.