© Submitted photo
Dayna Hogan is expecting another hectic season of juggling academics and athletics.
ST. JOHN’S — Dayna Hogan can’t help but get excited about making waves in the pool in her fifth and final year of eligibility with the MUN Sea-Hawks.
The 22-year-old Kippens native will wear the Sea-Hawks jersey for the final time when the 2013-2014 Atlantic University Sport (AUS) swimming season kicks off later this month.
“I feel good, definitely,” Hogan said from St. John’s earlier this week.
Hogan served as captain of the Sea-Hawks female swim contingent until she decided last season to take a year off from competitive swimming, which left her the option of coming back stronger this season for her fifth and final year.
Hogan made the decision to pull the plug on last season after experiencing pain and discomfort in her lower back and hips.
She missed her first AUS championship in five years, and despite the obvious disappointment she felt comfortable about her decision to scale back her time in the pool.
She continued training with the team to keep in shape, but it was nowhere near the hectic workload she grew accustomed to since joining the Sea-Hawks.
After spending time with the St. John’s Legends training until the end of June, she worked hard over the summer to get herself fit with a lot of open water swims and a daily diet of intense training through lifting iron and running.
She expects another hectic season with academics and athletics, but she met some of the young swimmers coming into the fold earlier this week and was impressed with what she saw.
“We’re excited about it and it’s going to be good,” she said. “We had our first meeting (Tuesday) and we had a lot of freshmen so it looks like it’s going to be an exciting season,” she said.
Her last year of competitive swimming is expected to be both exciting and challenging for the seasoned veteran who is expected to take on the captain’s role again this year.
She’s looking forward to getting to know her teammates, but she’s also eager to see how things unfold under new head coach Aaron Dahl of Victoria, B.C., who will also take over the head coaching duties of the St. John’s Legends Swim Club — a role previously filled by Brad Hutton of St. John’s, who was the Sea-Hawks coach for a number of years.
“So it’s really going to be really exciting to see how that goes,” she said of the new coach in place.
We’re excited about it ... it looks like it’s going to be an exciting season. Dayna Hogan, varsity swimmer
Hogan’s role as captain will mean some extra work behind the scenes with a new coach coming in because there will be a transition period for all hands.
She wants to help ease the transition so the team can focus its energy on posting impressive times in the pool.
She and a couple of the older girls will be much busier at the beginning of the season with the new coach on board, but she’s sure things will settle down once the team is picked and competition heats up.
She had a big chuckle when asked if she was ready to play the role of captain and help the new players get comfortable with their surroundings.
“I’m the oldest by far really,” she said. “But I do want to do it because I want to make sure if people need help and everything that it’s there.”
“I’m excited for it. I think it will be good,” she added.
The goal of all MUN swimmers is ultimately reach the pinnacle of success by winning the AUS championship, and Hogan doesn’t see that changing any time soon, no matter who joins the mix.
Actually, she thinks it will be a great year for the team given the fact the Sea-Hawks will play host to the 2013-14 AUS swim championships at the Aqua Arena in St. John’s.
She has never experienced playing host to the AUS during her stint and figures it’s been a long time since MUN put out the welcome mat.
“It’s nice to be in our home pool and hopefully have our own crowd here,” she said.
There’s also no limitations on how many swimmers can participate either because there is no travel cost.
She believes more swimmers will now get a chance to test their mettle against some of the best in the AUS this season, something that wouldn’t have been possible if another AUS participant was serving as host.
“We’ll be able to enter more people into it, which is always good because that helps us get more points,” she said.
Hogan graduated from MUN with an engineering degree in the spring and is now juggling competing and a part-time job coaching the St. John’s Legends with her workload towards a Masters degree in economics.