This fall, four Albuquerque teens are not only starting college in Colorado but becoming part of a new era for a sports program.
Men’s swimming has been missing from Adams State University for a couple of years, but now the program is back. A group of teens from New Mexico say they’re ready to make it a success.
With the stroke of a pen, Aidan Mohns, Justin Sandoval, Gilbert Benton and Aidan Gallegos are now part of the new men’s swim team at Adams State University.
“It’s going to be a good four years,” said Gilbert Benton.
On Monday, the teens, who are currently with the Vipers of Albuquerque Swim Team, signed their letters of intent officially becoming Adams State Grizzlies.
“I was really excited to say I was going for sure,” said Justin Sandoval.
In 2016, the men’s swim team was cut. Nearly three years later, the program is back on its feet starting this fall all thanks to Coach Quint Seckler from Albuquerque.
“Quint Seckler has kind of always been my second father. I always really enjoyed swimming with him, so having another opportunity is really nice,” said Aidan Mohns.
Seckler currently coaches the women’s team. About a year ago, he wrote a proposal to university officials asking to reinstate the men’s program.
“There’s no men’s swimming in the state of New Mexico collegiately. Since I’m from there, I thought I would be able to recruit from there successfully,” said Seckler.
The men say they could’ve gone to a college with a swim team already in place, but the excitement of being a part of something new was really enticing.
“We are the ones to start it and leave something for next year, or when we graduate everyone will have an actual swim team now,” said Sandoval.
With all of this excitement also comes nerves.
“There is a little bit of pressure like setting a good foundation of Adams State swimming because that will bring in more athletes eventually over time,” said Benton.
Coach Seckler says his plan is to have 10 to 12 swimmers for fall.
He is also recruiting hard for the following year as well. He hopes to have 20 men on the team by the start of 2020.
Also signing a letter of intent for Adams State was Davin Ruggles, who will join the women’s swim team.
“I visited six or seven colleges last year. Out of all the ones I visited, Adams State really spoke to me. I love the swim team. They’re really supportive. I honestly cannot wait for the next four years,” said Ruggles.