Macalester Today Winter 2011

Macites Make a Splash

TWO MEMBERS OF Macalester’s swimming and diving teams were real standouts this year. Nathan Young ’11 (Denver), an English major, returned this season after a season studying abroad. One of the most successful swimmers in Macalester history, Young holds the school’s record in the 50 freestyle, 100 freestyle, 100 backstroke, 200 backstroke, and 200 individual medley. But as captain, he’s been more focused on team goals, including contributing to some relay teams that are close to breaking the Mac record. “It will be nice to get some other people’s names up on that board too,” he says.

On the women’s side, first-year diver Renee Jordan ’14 (Anchorage) has people talking. Jordan only started diving during her sophomore year of high school, but immediately excelled, taking second in state that year and first in state during both her junior and senior years. Her first year at Mac she took first place in the 3-meter diving competition at the St. Catherine Mini Invitational—just one of her wins this season.

She’s had to make some adjustments to college diving, says Jordan: “In college, there’s more of an emphasis on executing a graceful dive, rather than throwing a power dive.” The team dynamics of the Mac club also was a pleasant surprise for Jordan. “I’ve never been on a team that stressed ‘team spirit’ quite as much as this one does,” she says.

These top performers and their teammates met with an unexpected challenge mid-season when longtime swim coach Bob Pearson resigned to take a job at the University of Minnesota. Beth Whittle, formerly an assistant swimming coach at Washington University in St. Louis, stepped in as interim head coach for
both teams.