Coach: Eric Lindquist – 12 years as coach
Last Year’s Score/Place: 224/6th
St. Mary’s is a school that has teetered on the edge of making it into the mid-tier mix at conference for the last few years. Their 6th place finish last season showed signs of possibly being 2-3 recruits away from that next level.
This year, SMU will have to make do without 2010 scorers John Fox (graduation), Tim Tysk (transfer), and Neil Heacox (abroad). SMU does return their top 2010 scorer, Mark Ross (31 points). They also have brought in freshman Brandon Matis, who could possibly squeeze in some points in either of the breast strokes come conference time.
At this point, SMU most likely projects to a 7th place finish.
I did get a chance to email head coach Eric Lindquist. Below are his responses…
Casey: What are your goals for conference?
Eric: Our basic goals don’t differ much from year to year, and that is to swim our best swims of the season at this meet. However, the past few years having a couple athletes who can look beyond the MIAC’s we do get to approach things a bit different. Ultimately, however, our focus is on the MIAC meet.
Casey: Mark Ross had a pretty amazing taper last year dropping 5 seconds in his 200 back and 200 IM. How do you see Mark performing this year?
Eric: Mark is tremendous swimmer with much ahead of him in the next few years. I see him swimming as good as ever this year, and carrying that over for his next two years as well.
Casey: How do you choose between him swimming the 200 IM and 100 Back as his 3rd event?
Eric: Mark and I do that together. It’s a combination of gut instinct and what seems to be working for him from day to day and a lot of discussions about last year’s meet and this year’s top times list. We chose what fits him best and then look at where that might fit him in the conference.
Casey: How do you expect Brandon Matis to perform in his first conference meet?
Eric: I have big hopes. He has responded well to our program so far. I know he has been a successful taper swimmer in the past and see no reason why that won’t continue.
I’d like to thank Eric for responding to my email. And good luck at conference.
Casey McGovern is a 1999 graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College and a regular contributor to the D3Swimming.com Forums. We appreciate his efforts both in the past and with this current line of articles previewing the MIAC Championships.