By Jordan Grimes
The University of Findlay men’s swim team has found the key to winning. The proof is five-time back-to-back conference championships. The swim team seems to find its way to the top each year. With the 2022 season still at its beginning the team has already earned a seventh place ranking in the Division II Swimming & Diving Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) ranking. In its most recent meet against Saginaw Valley State, Findlay finished with 17 first place finishes which led to a team win.
Tim Stollings, a senior on the swim team is one of the leaders. He has collected many accolades, and awards over his four years at The University of Findlay.
“When I got here my freshman year we only had one relay go to nationals, and I was the only individual athlete at nationals, now we have an amazing team of remarkable athletes that can make their mark on the national stage,” Stollings said.
“We’ve grown as a team both in and out of the pool since I’ve been here. It is great to see that progression, and it is really exciting to know that the growth will continue to happen,” said Stollings.
Freshman Matteo Filippi broke the Findlay 1,000-meter freestyle record by eight seconds in the Saginaw Valley meet. The team travels to meets all over the country to show off their talent. UF even sent two male athlete swimmers overseas to the South American Games in Paraguay.
Camilo Marrugo from Soledad, California, and Filippi from Bologna, Italy were able to represent The University of Findlay and their home countries in Paraguay.
Marrugo had a lot of success helping his team to a silver, and bronze medal while also earning an individual bronze medal in the 50-meter butterfly sprint.
Garcia was able to show his talents as well, going to compete in three different events: the 200m breaststroke, 100m breaststroke, and 50m breaststroke. He ended with two sixth place finishes, and a seventh-place finish.
Alex Bouhel, who is also a senior on the team has also contributed a lot to the team’s success.
“We have such a great atmosphere in practice every day that strives for winning,” said Alex Bouhel.
“Since I’ve come to The University of Findlay I have improved a lot, I have never loved swimming as much as I do now even though I have been swimming for 15 years,” said Bouhel.
Bouhel feels the environment that head coach Andrew Makepeace creates for his swimmers is the best part.
“He makes sure we see the big picture, and never lets us get complacent with the accomplishments we get,” said Bouhel.
Makepeace has helped produce 18 All-American male athlete swimmers. He has also been named the GMAC coach of the year. He has a lot of pride in his team.
“I am very proud of them. They have come a long way since I have been here,” said Makepeace. Coach Makepeace gives a lot of credit to his guys because he feels that they are good at what they do and have earned the accomplishments they’ve received.
“The success of the student athletes helps me look good as a coach,” Makepeace said. “They put in the work.”