Ian Heye, Staff Writer
The University of Missouri–St. Louis men’s and women’s swim and dive team hosted their senior meet Jan. 25 with an inner squad meet. Teams were selected by team captains Radoslaw Chupka, senior, business administration; Esteban Pombo, senior, international business; Amber Visser, senior, psychology and criminology and Agnieszka Blocka, junior, graphic design. Chupka and Visser led the gold team and Pombo and Blocka led the red team.
The meet was originally scheduled for Jan. 12, but had to be rescheduled due to the Lindenwood-Belleville Team not being able to make it through the large amount of snow that fell the previous day. The idea to make up the senior meet came as an idea from head coach Tony Hernandez, who was also trying to get the team ready for the Great Lake Valley Conference (GLVC) championship meet.
“Leading up to taper [resting swimmers for an important swim meet], I like for the swimmers to have a meet simulator with low-yardage events to work on speed and get a feel for going fast in racing suits,” said Hernandez. “I also wanted to make sure the seniors received a proper goodbye and having an inner squad meet was a good way to do both [have a meet simulator and send off the seniors].”
The team said their goodbyes to five seniors; Radoslaw Chupka, Esteban Pombo, Amber Visser, Tatiana Vanegas, senior, art and Michael Dorsey, senior, history. After graduation, Chupka will be working at World Wide Technology in supply chain. Pombo plans on working toward his MBA after graduation. Visser plans to attend law school after graduation. Vanegas wants to work toward a master’s in animation. Dorsey is still unsure about his plans after graduation.
When the team began planning the meet, they decided to not tell the seniors about the inner squad meet being the senior meet and surprised the seniors Friday with a decorated pool and posters dedicated to each senior.
“I was a little sad hearing the meet was canceled because I really wanted to swim the 100 backstroke one last time at our pool, but I was really happy when I saw the inner squad meet was really senior meet. It was made even better when almost every other sports team came to the pool to support us,” said Chupka.
The swim meet had seven events; a men’s and women’s mixed 200 medley relay, the 100 freestyle, 50 butterfly, 50 backstroke, 50 breaststroke, 50 freestyle and a men’s and women’s mixed 200 free relays. At the end of the swim meet, the gold team beat the red team. However the Triton’s didn’t care much about the score of the swim meet, they just wanted to make sure the seniors received the love they deserved.