ERAU Swimming Club pose for their first swim meet since 2013. The swimmers pictured (not in order) are: Aly Blakeley, Ben Aulenback, Beth Zangenberg, Brett Nalezinksi, Daniel Rugani, Jake Gremer, Jordan Hilgers, Luke Gernatt, Maria Mejia, Max Anderson, Paige Arbutina, and Rafael Saldana.
Jordan Hilgers/ERAU Swimming Club
On Saturday, February 25th, twelve swimmers from the Embry-Riddle Swimming club traveled to Fort Myers to compete in a collegiate level club swim competition at Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU). Some of us traveled by university van and others traveled by air in order to log hours!
Our swimmers who attended were: Aly Blakeley, Ben Aulenback, Beth Zangenberg, Brett Nalezinksi, Daniel Rugani, Jake Gremer, Jordan Hilgers, Luke Gernatt, Maria Mejia, Max Anderson, Paige Arbutina, and Rafael Saldana. The other universities that participated include; FGCU, Florida State University (FSU), University of Central Florida (UCF), University of Miami (UM), University of South Florida (USF), Nova Southeastern University (NSU).
The campus swim club went extinct in 2013 and has recently been re-established in the fall of 2016 by Jordan Hilgers, a Human Factors graduate student, and Beth Zangenberg, an aviation business student with the help of the advisor Dr. Jason Kring, a Human Factors Associate Professor and committed triathlete. The club is open to competitively-trained swimmers and newer swimmers alike and currently has about thirty members.
This competition was the first swim meet that the Embry-Riddle Swimming club has participated in since its re-establishment. The club had an unforgettable experience traveling and competing with other universities. Swim meets allow swimmers to gain insight into their performance through providing an environment in which personal records and times can be tracked. For example, during typical practices/workouts competitions are not usually organized, and tracking equipment is not used so “personal records” do not occur during a regular practice. Swimming is more of an individual sport so allowing our swimmers to obtain their best times will better prepare them for future competitions so that they can continually improve their technique and speed.
With that said, swimming is not entirely about individual performance as there are relay events where multiple swimmers participate. We were able to participate in both male and female relay events, and there was a sure sense of comradery and team spirit throughout these events as well as during the other events in which we cheered our teammates on.
We are very much looking forward to additional opportunities in the future to compete with other universities. We would especially like to thank the Student Government Association for providing financial support to offset the expenses of gas and registration, as well as Negar Afshar from the Office of Student Engagement & Student Union for her assistance and coordination, and lastly, the Department of Housing & Residence Life for allowing us to utilize their university vehicle to make the drive over to FGCU.