By Deborah Cabanos, Guest Writer

With the cold weather settling in, athletics move to indoor sports.

One sport to keep an eye out on this fall is swimming.

The Pacific Lutheran swim team started the 2014-2015 season at the Northwest Conference Relays two weekends ago.

At the Northwest Conference Relays, hosted by Williamette University, the Lutes came out with a first-place tie, sharing the title with Whitworth University.

Both teams had a score of 64 points.

The following weekend, the Lutes had another meet, hosted by Linfield University.

The women’s team dominated with a score of 345 points, 163 points ahead of Whitworth, which came in second place.

On the men’s team, the competition was a little bit tougher as the men came out in third place.

PLU hosted two dual meets on Nov. 7 and Nov. 8.

Winning both meets against Lewis and Clark and Pacific, the men’s and women’s teams start off the official season with a 2-0 record.

The weekend was made even better by an impressive debut by junior Shanell Sullenberger, which earned her NWC Student-Athlete of the Week for swimming honors.

The 18-person men’s team this year is made of three first-years, five sophomores, four juniors and six seniors.

On the women’s team, there are two first-years, eight sophomores, six juniors and seven seniors, totaling 23 women.

“The [womens team] lost several great senior leaders last year,” sophomore Jessica Stenberg said. “We gained some very good talent and have gotten stronger since last year.”

The talent and dedication both teams have is evident in their early season wins.

With practices four to five times a week, the teams train together to support and motivate one another.

“Each day our practice is super intense but it will pay off come conference championships in February,” first-year Sam Couch said. “I have complete faith in our coaches and their training.”

The team’s next two meets will be held at Linfield Saturday, Nov. 14 and Williamette Sunday, Nov. 15, respectively.

Students should come out and support their fellow Lutes when they return home to the PLU Pool in 2015. ◼︎

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