Vikings’ swimming brings home championship

Vikings’ swimming brings home championship
Freshman swimmer Pedro da Rocha Borin makes history for new men’s swimming team by winning the 200 fly in GLIAC championship. Photo by GoAugie.

The Viking men’s and women’s swim teams both came away with big wins after their recent championships — NSIC championships for women and GLIAC championships for men.

Women’s swimming set an Augustana record time and placed fourth with one 400 free relay and ninth with the other. Ten Augustana records were broken during the meet, including Nesrine Jelliti in the 200 breast and Nathila Silva in the prelims for the 200 back. Senior Taylor Beagle won her third individual championship of 2022 in the 500 free, broke two NSIC records and was named swimmer of the meet.

Beagle said the team strategy was to be strong in the relays. She focused more on winning events and getting team points than on any individual time marker.

“I could not have been more excited about being a part of the new relay records and helping my team get its highest conference finish yet,” Beagle said.

Beagle has claimed a spot every year at nationals and has earned All-American accolades.

“I think consistency is the huge part of who Taylor is,” coach Lindsie Micko said. “Her work ethic is unmatched, and she has learned how to take care of herself in and out of the pool in order to be successful.”

Beagle, in her last season on the team, said it will be an adjustment to not have to wake up for swim practice at 4:40 a.m. or not experience the the team throughout the season’s highs and lows.

“This team has given me more than I could have ever asked for five years ago,” Beagle said. “I am so proud of everything that we have accomplished as a team.”

Micko said eight women made NCAA “B” cuts, “an amazing feat,” and the next step for both the men’s and women’s teams is NCAA championships.

“Adding the men’s team was a game changer as they tend to make practice that much more competitive and high energy,” Beagle said.

Since this is the men’s first year, it was swim’s first time representing Augustana at the GLIAC championships. The men’s team saw many personal best times at their tournaments Feb. 4-7. Freshman Pedro da RochaBorin won the 200 fly event.

Borin knew his competition: a fifth year student who’d consistently won that event in the past. But his strategy that he brought with from his swim training in Brazil was a good one: kick harder and pass in the last 100.

“Mission complete,” Borin said. “I went there to get a good result, and I did that and put the name of Augie in the first place and with a good time. Then, I can put the name of Augie as a swim team in the first year in a good position on the ranking.”

Borin, who’s from Joinville, in Santa Caterina, Brazil, has been competing since he was eight years old. He even trained in Sao Paulo under Wlad Veiga, an Olympic-level coach. He found Augustana through a friend and said he was open to joining the men’s swim team because he saw the skill and success of the women’s team.

“Pedro has a great drive to succeed,” Micko said. “At the beginning of the season, we sat down and worked out what he needed to do in order to achieve his goals.  He has a great work ethic and will only continue to improve.”

He said as the postseason progresses, he’ll focus on improving his time and getting comfortable with the length of the races.

Two women, Beagle and Jelliti, as well as Borin, qualified for the NCAA Championships.

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