The Morningside women’s swim team was successful in the 2021-22 season, even though the girls knew there would be no National Tournament. In the KCAC tournament, the team never finished last. On day 1 of the tournament, they finished fifth out of eight. On day two, they finished fourth of eight. And on the last day, they placed third of eight.
The season began at St. Ambrose University on October 8th. The girls finished fourth out of four. They hold their heads high as they have a whole season ahead of them, and more importantly, a NAIA National Tournament.
I spoke to three girls on the swim team who are roommates. Grace Holzerland is from Sioux City, Iowa and knew the Morningside Swim coach prior to going to Morningside. He was her coach for her club swim team. She started club swimming when she began middle school, but her parents started her off doing swim lessons at a young age. Morningside was the place for Grace.
“Morningside was an easy choice,” said Grace. “I already knew the coach and I knew I was not going to a division one school.”
Holzerland speaks highly of her first year on the swim team, despite breaking her foot and missing the second half of the season.
“I slipped on ice and the next thing I remember is waking up in the snow,” said Grace. “My teammate, Rachel, was there to save me though.”
All three roommates mentioned how close they are with each other. Grace Holzerland and Maddy Slaughter, her roommate, swam on the same club team before college. Grace’s fondest memory of the swim team is driving back on the bus together from the Conference Tournament in Fremont. Rachel Roose’s favorite memory is of Grace breaking her foot.
“Grace breaking her foot is not my favorite memory of my first year,” Roose said, “it’s the best memory of my life. I was holding her in my arms and she was knocked out.”
After a friend convinced Roose to join the swim team in sixth grade, she loved it and stuck with it. Her first year at Morningside, Roose received the All American title and now holds the record for fastest 50 free time. However, she is not satisfied with just that.
“My first year was not what I wanted it to be,” said Roose. “Yeah, I did earn All American, but I did not get a personal record.”
Teammate and roommate, Maddy Slaughter, was happy with her first year. Although she did not break any records, she was excited to see improvement in her back stroke. Considering Slaughter has an older sister on the Morningside swim team, she wants to put the rumors to rest.
“Coming to Morningside had nothing to do with my sister.” said Slaughter. “Covid took my last season of high school away, and I wanted more.”
The 2021-22 swim season started at St. Ambrose University on October 8th. Holzerland, Roose, and Slaughter are clawing for personal records, but would be content with dropping time on their strokes. Holzerland hopes to complete the season with no injuries, while Roose hopes for another life long memory. Slaughter wishes for success for her and her older sister.
The next Morningside swim event will be on October 30th at Gustavus Adolphus. The next dual hosted at Morningside is November 5th against St. Ambrose at 5pm. There are no restrictions due to Covid, so come to Morningside University, find the Hyper gym, and cheer on the Women’s and Men’s Swim Team.