Friday, February 22, 2013

From hobby to craft

Tacuyan aids strong PLU swim team

by Sam Horn, Sports Writer

    For sophomore swimmer Andre Tacuyan, swimming is more than exercise or simple fun — it is about winning conference championships.

    While the Lutes did not win the 2013 conference title in men’s swimming, Tacuyan aided the team’s achievement of a fourth place finish during the Northwest Conference Championships two weekends ago.
 Andre Tacuyan performs the butterfly stroke at a meet earlier this year. Tacuyan is a member of the PLU men’s swim team that was ranked No. 46 in the country on Tuesday. It is the first time the men’s swim team has been ranked since joining the NCAA Div. III ranks in 1998. Photo courtesy University Communications. 

    The men’s swim team was ranked No. 46 in  the country in a poll released Tuesday.

    Tacuyan placed 17th in the 200 individual medley at the NWC Swimming Championships with a time of 2:02.11, 11th in the 400 individual medley with a time of 4:26.88 and 17th in the 200 butterfly with a time of 2:06.84. 

    Tacuyan improved on his 400 individual medley time from last year by nearly two seconds.  The individual medley combines all four of the swimming strokes – butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke and freestyle – into one brutal event that tests swimmers’ endurance to their core.

    “This season was amazing and it exceeded everyone’s expectations,” Tacuyan said. “I didn’t do as well as I wanted to do this season, but it will make me try even harder to improve and get a couple of school records next season.” 

The off-season for athletes is a time to rest the body, to rehabilitate if the athlete has any injuries and to prepare for the upcoming season. This involves gaining muscular strength and endurance in cardio-related activities in an effort to become faster on land and in the water. To stay in shape, Tacuyan is enrolled in head swim coach Matt Sellman’s conditioning swimming class this spring.

    Tacuyan started to swim competitively when he was 10.

    “I just wanted to learn how to swim, but I thought it was so much fun,” Tacuyan said, that  “my parents put me in competitive swimming, and I instantly fell in love with the sport.”

    Tacuyan is a marketing major with minors in graphic design and computer science.  He is the director of marketing and graphic design at “Sacks of Love,” which is a Washington state nonprofit that spreads awareness and raises money for testicular cancer research.

    “It [graphic design] has grown into one of my biggest passions, and it’s something I would want to do for the rest of my life,” Tacuyan said. “I want to make a big impact on the world, and working for a company that makes big differences would help me achieve that.”

    After graduating, he aspires to join the design team for one his self self-acclaimed “dream companies” — Facebook or Apple.