SAU Buzz

Swimming and diving sees its second competition this season

by Ryan Sandness
Posted on Oct 25, 2018

On a cold, dreary Friday evening in October, family, friends, and spectators alike crowded Davenport Central’s natatorium to watch the Fighting Bee Swimming & Diving Team take on their cross-town rival, the Augustana Vikings.

 

Placing for the Bees was sophomore Nathan Kuszynski, who finished 1st in the 100-yard butterfly, 200 and 500 freestyle, at 54.52, 1:47.41, and 4:59.38, respectively.

 

Freshman Ryan Warrick took 1st in the 100-yard freestyle, while Kevin Krupitzer claimed the 100-yard breaststroke to help the men overcome the Vikings for their first win of the season.

 

The SAU Swim Team enters its second season of competition, using the facilities of Davenport Central High School to call home. When the pool was added during the renovations of DCHS, St. Ambrose reached an agreement to add a Swim and Dive Team, adding to their athletics teams.

 

The team is coached by Rob Miecznikowski. “Ski,” as he is affectionately known, coached the program from its infancy.

 

Ski was 2015’s High School Coach of the Year in Iowa, something he is used to, claiming the award in the Mississippi Valley Conference nine times. He has coached at every level over his 26-year career, guiding Iowa City West High School to two high school boys state championships.

 

“It’s a real blessing to have such a highly regarded coach. We know that with him in charge, our only direction is up,” said Josh Fleming, a junior on the swim team.

 

St. Ambrose finished 13th at Nationals as a team in their first full year. As freshmen, Andrea Adam became a National Champion diver, while Nathan Kuszynski became an All-American in two events.

 

Fleming knows that since the team is so new, recruitment is a main calling card to prospective swimmers.

 

“Being from the Quad Cities and transferring from a Junior College, I knew that I wanted to be part of something local and get in on the ground floor of the program,” said Fleming. “We have to build our own legacy for the program.”

 

Fleming was part of the 200-yard medley relay at Friday’s meet against Augustana.

 

“Augustana is good competition. Since Augustana is in the NCAA, it is good practice and will be an exciting rivalry for years to come,” Fleming said.  

The swim team is set to face a variety of new and revered teams alike. Schedules are set to change every year for the foreseeable future, since the program, and the team itself, are so young.

 

Fleming described the process as a “double-edged sword.”

 

“As a program, we have to be good enough the attract enough swimmers, while accommodating as a university to help grow students interests and what they want from a four-year private school,” Fleming explained.

 

Fleming feels that diversity and youth will only help the program grow and flourish.

 

“Our swimmers come from all walks of life. They come to St. Ambrose for a multitude of reasons, whether it be for Catholicism or for a small school feel, we have no one-set characteristic. We have a true diversity to our team, something that is our greatest strength.”