The Monmouth College swim team dove back into the water this year after last year’s season was put on hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Scots welcome back Assistant Coach Erin Lafary, Class of 2015, as well as new Head Coach Jacob Dacus. The team started practice this week, putting a grand total of nineteen hours training each week with seventeen of those hours being in the pool.
Dacus, native of Tacoma, Washington, is not only new to the Monmouth community but also new to the Midwest. However, after settling in, Dacus saws he is excited to get started with practices to prepare his team for the upcoming season. He swam four years at Pacific Lutheran University, and his first college coaching job was as assistant coach at Saint Vincent College in Pennsylvania for two years. He then spent the next 3 years as the assistant coach at Pacific Lutheran before joining the Monmouth community. His goals for this season are to get the swimmers back in competitive shape, but ultimately he wants to re-establish what made Monmouth Swimming great before COVID-19 put everything on hold. “The goals for the upcoming years are to routinely finish in the top half of the conference at our championship meet,” Dacus said. “…and to continue bringing in quality student-athletes who are excited to be a part of the Scots swim family.”
The team welcomes the addition of both sophomore and freshmen students as the team did not practice or formally meet as a team last year due to COVID. “I am super excited to get back into the water and bring the team back together,” said senior Marissa Logan. “It may be a rough start, but we will all persevere and make the best of this season! I think we have a very strong team, and everyone is coming in excited and ready to practice. Coach Dacus has a very strong team, and I think he will make us all stronger.”
The interruption of the COVID-19 pandemic not only upset the Scots because of the loss of their season but it also took with it the life of their former head coach Tom Burek. With many swimmers coming from not only around the state but also across the country to learn from him, many students were shaken by his passing. Nevertheless, the team welcomed Coach Dacus with open arms and was also excited by the creation of the Tom Burek Memorial 5K Run, which took place on August 28. Several current swimmers and alumni gathered at Lake Bracken Country Club in Galesburg, IL to participate in the event, tracing the path that Burek would run every morning to get to summer swim team practice at the country club.
The swim team will dive into their season on October 15 with their first home dual meet against Knox College.
Brooke McCormick – Sports Editor