SIOUX CITY, Iowa, October 23. MORNINGSIDE College's men's and women's swimming teams, in their first year of varsity competition, will make their season's debuts on Friday, October 24, when the Mustangs host Buena Vista University in a dual meet at 7:00 p.m. at the Hindman-Hobbs Center, 3501 Peters Avenue, in Sioux City.
The Mustangs, who will compete as an NAIA independent, have 11 meets scheduled, including another home meet againts Minnesota State University, Mnkato, on Saturday, November 8, at 6 p.m.
Morningside is fielding a women's varsity swim team for the first time in school history, but the college has had a brief history in men's swimming. It fielded a varsity team for two years before the program was disbanded after the 1968-69 season.
Mustang head coach Rory Coleman said he will use Friday's opening meet as a gauge to fill in the gaps in the relays and non-freestyle events.
"We have a lot of freestylers on the team and we need to find places for them to compete in other than just freestyle events," Coleman said. "We also have some gaps in the relays. I think our first meet will tell us a lot and give us a good indication who can fill in the gaps in the other events."
Coleman said his goal for the Mustangs' initial season is to qualify as many swimmers as possible for the NAIA National Championships to be held Mrch 3-6 in Lawrence, Kansas.
"My goal is to get as many people to Nationals as we possibly can," Coleman said. "We have some people who have already swum times in high school that are under the national qualifying standards."
Coleman, a 2000 graduate of Keene State College, is a native of Fostoria, Ohio, and came to Morningside from Loras College, where he was an assistant coach in 2001-02. At Keene, he set six school records and earned All-New England honors in two events.