With tons of experience and a positive outlook, the 2010-2011 University of the Cumberlands (UC) Patriot Swimming Team has high hopes for the upcoming season. Even though last year was a rough year compared to previous years, the team is prepared to step up and perform accordingly.
"The women lost a few dual meets that they should have won last season, were inconsistent, and both teams were a little off at nationals," said University of the Cumberlands Head Swimming Coach Garry Nelson. "But, the women's team is much more mature and seem ready to take responsibility. In addition, the men's team seems to have one of the strongest freshman classes and looks like they're in great shape."
The Patriots will have to adapt to the loss of six seniors on the men's side, but are ready for the challenge. The 2010 Patriots will be lead by two key seniors in Charles Irwin (Clinton, TN) and Eric Wenstrand (Elizabethtown, KY). Other returning swimmers that are vital components to the team are Brett Oliver (Carrying Place Ontario, Canada), Robert "Wes" Miller (Largo, FL), and Nikola Lemac (Herford, Germany). Newcomers that are expected to help out are Charles Gard (Sandy Bay, Tasmania), Samuel Huntley (Littleton, CO), Ruben Gonzalez (El Paso, TX), Jesse Dwyer (Las Vegas, NV), Greg Olsen (Fortson, GA), Jimmy Hall (Barbourville, KY), and Kiakahi Matsumoto (Wailuku, HI).
On the women's side, everyone is returning - which is a huge advantage. The team will be led by seniors Erin Wenstrand (Elizabethtown, KY) and Brianna Chen (Harrisburg, NC). Other returners who are expected to perform well are Amanda Miller (Mount Olivet, KY), Holly Oatman (Paducah, KY), Julia Maxie (Gainesville, GA), and Katie Osborne (Lexington, KY). Key newcomers are Carly Cavitt (Wingo, KY), Elizabeth Horn (Wheat Ridge, CO), and Haily Reichert (Sumner, WA).
This year, the Patriots have a very strong home schedule and should do less traveling. Cumberlands will swim against NCAA University of Tennessee and Western Kentucky University along with many other Top Division II teams. The strong competition the swimmers will face, just prepares the team to be stronger at the NAIA level.
Head Swimming Coach Garry Nelson will begin his ninth year at the Cumberlands with high expectations for the season. Along with Nelson, Edward Von Hertsenberg will be entering his second year as a graduate assistant coach, and is ready to expand his roles and is confident that the swim team will continue its success. Volunteer coaches Christen Von Hertsenberg and Ben Clayton will also help the Patriots when they need an extra hand.
The swim team will open their season at home on October 9th against Union College.