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Swimming and Diving Updates from the Desk of Matt Gianiodis

Sept. 14, 2006

We have had another week of great practices as we have upped the workload. The team is doing well, meshing together, and the younger people have demonstrated that they know how to train hard. We are training everyday in the long course pool outside. We have been put of a little bit by the weather, but better to be a little chilly than to be too hot.

The team will be taking part in our fourth annual scavenger hunt on Friday, Sept. 15. This is a very competitive event that acquaints the team members with the campus. We'll see if anyone this year can approach Chad Wilson's record 11 miles of biking around campus to find the answers.

We are planning to tailgate the day of the Notre Dame football game. We will be at the pool deck gearing up for the Spartans and the Irish. If you come to the game, please drop by.

Progress on the locker rooms is steady. Work has begun on the floor and tiles, as well as some of the brick work. The men's room has been cut in half, and work has begun on the new team room. We are far from completion, but it is taking shape everyday.

I received an update from Jennifer Parks on the Masters World Championships held at Stanford in August. Melinda Whitcomb Mann (Big Ten, 50 free champion in 1978) set a world record with a time of 1:11 in the 100 meter fly at age 50. Steve Bargwell placed sixth in his age group, while Kirk Nelson placed third in the same group. Barry Dittus finished second in his age group. Marilyn Early won her age group. Martha Jahn Martin, who still holds that 500 record, earned a fourth-place finish in her age group. Ildiko Szekely-Mull finished third in her age group. Also, Wally Dobler placed in the top eight in his age group.

It was great to see Adam Pawlick '98 this past Friday. He was passing through town with his expectant wife and dropped by my office to say hello and get caught up on the team. Also I got to see Deb O'Neil '03 and her dad on Saturday. Her brother, Jim is a special teams coach for Eastern Michigan, so they were in town to watch the football game. I also got to meet Jim after the game. If any of you are in town, let me know so we can connect.

The 2006 Golden Spike reunion was a big success. Shawn Elkins and Steve Ploussard did a spectacular job organizing the entire affair involving golf, dinner, more golf, a tailgate, football game, etc. I left at 11 p.m. on Friday (after a full day of golf and dinner) and the party was just getting started. There were many stories passed along, and many guys returned to campus for the first time in more than two decades. There are plans in store for the same group of guys to get together in 2008.

If any team (men or women), from any era, would like to organize a reunion please let me know and I will do what I can to help. It was great to see teammates reunited and having a great time in East Lansing.

Finally, thanks to the generosity of Nick Harley '06 and his family, we will have a tailgate on the outdoor pool deck again this year. The Harley's are cooking for 250 people so we are anticipating a big crowd. This year we are hoping to keep the deck limited to team members, alumni and family. As usual, the team tailgate will be alcohol-free.

Until next time,
Matt G.



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