Women’s swimming brings back two All-Americans

The 2009-10 women’s swimming team will revolve around a strong returning cast led by All-Americans senior Jena Root and junior Becca Ney.

Like the men’s team, the women took third in the MIAC last season. Coach Tom Hodgson thinks this can be improved, with a possible first or second place finish this season in the MIAC.

Another goal of Hodgson’s is to send four relays to the NCAA, something that can be achieved if the incoming freshmen produce as expected. Jenny Bruno, Katie Bromback and Alexis Rodarmel, among others, are expected to contribute during their rookie seasons.

Rodarmel, shares Hodgson’s lofty goals.

“We want to show up and work as hard as we can,” she said. “We want to be able to score big points at the conference and then on to nationals.”

This year’s captains are Sydney Kuramato and Root. Root enters her final season an All-American after several first place relay finishes in the MIAC last year, along with a victory in the 100 yard backstroke.

“Jena has been nothing but supportive and welcoming to me as a freshman,” Rodarmel said.

Rodarmel has found leadership throughout the team.

“All of the captains have done a really good job of showing of showing me how to be a good swimmer, and what leadership looks like in a college environment,” she said. “I also look up to Ali Krieger because she gets down to business and pushes through the hard sets, but knows how to have a good time and can always make me laugh.”

The Tommies’ second All-American, Ney, will also be an integral part of the team this year. Ney grabbed three individual victories at last year’s MIAC meet and was part of several MIAC winning relays along with Root.

Despite bringing in what Hodgson considers his best freshman class ever, the Tommies will need to replace breast strokers Jill Otterson and Krista Horejsi and also Lauren Williamson in the backstroke.

Hodgson said the team will have to contend with defending champion Carleton, along with St. Olaf and Gustavus.

“They will be near the top, and we hope to be right there with them,” he said. “It could be a 20-40 point difference from second to fourth this year.”

Similar to the men’s team, the Tommies will rely on depth as a strength this season.

“We have a huge team and a lot of depth,” Rodarmel said. “This means we have a lot of strokers and people that can swim more than freestyle.”

Hodgson believes with the remaining top tier talent from last year’s squad and the addition of a great freshmen class, the Tommies have the ability to win the MIAC.

Danny Grimmer can be reached at degrimmer@stthomas.edu