The club level co-ed swim team doesn’t get much fanfare on the University of Colorado’s Boulder campus.
Many students aren’t even aware there is a swim team, let alone a team that will vie for its fifth straight national title this weekend.
That’s not a typo: fifth straight national title.
Making that even more impressive is the fact that the American Swimming Association University League in which the CU club team competes only has existed since 2003.
“As a club level team we want to be well known in the community,” head coach Lynne Zieske said. “I mean, to win four straight national titles and half the community don’t know who we are?”
The 25-year-old Zieske, who was a swimmer at Minnesota State University-Moorehead, is in her first year with the team, making her the team’s fifth coach in as many years. She said the group has become like a second family this year.
“Coming from a division program, I love to come to a club team where they have as much fun and compete as hard as these guys do,” Zieske said. “I have not let up on them. We’ve been on the grind all season long and we started in late August.”
The team, whose members pay their own way to all meets, will send a school record 41 swimmers to the national meet in Atlanta this weekend. Of 21 events for both men and women, only a few slots on the men’s side were not filled.
“Outside of a couple of events, we’ve filled up every spot,” said men’s team captain Bruce Deakyne. “We went to our first ever NCAA Conference meet this year. We’re just improving as a team.”
Deakyne will compete in many of the team’s distance events this weekend, including his personal favorite, the 500-meter freestyle. He’s confident in the Buffs’ chances in Atlanta.
“We’re looking really strong as a team this year.” he said. “I don’t want to jinx us, but I think we’re going to do pretty well.”
His coach was a little less conservative with her outlook.
“Basically I’m going to say we’re going to go in and win nationals,” Zieske said. “The mental preparation and the faith I have in these kids — straight up, we’re coming home with No. 5.”