Swim team dives into season with new coach Marijke Landon

In light of former swim coach Steve Leduc’s resignation, Coach Marijke Landon hopes to bring new insight to the team.

Leduc served as head coach for 3 years and assistant coach for 2 years prior. He quit earlier this year because he was offered a full time position at Machine Aquatics.

Sophomore and swimmer Wiktor Wyszogrodzki said he would miss Leduc.

“[Coach Leduc] made the swim community very close,” Wyszogrodzki said. “I’m hoping the new coach will keep the swim community as close together as he did.”

Wyszogrodzki also hopes having a new coach will help the team improve.

“I have high expectations for [Landon], and hopefully she brings high standards for our team,” he said.

Senior and swimmer Joylyn Wang hopes the team can bond quickly despite having a new coach.

“It might be awkward at first, but I hope we have a strong team spirit this year,” Wang said.

Morale is one thing Coach Landon said she can bring to the team.

“I love the sport, so I definitely bring enthusiasm and passion for it,” Landon said.

Landon said she was introduced to the sport at a young age.

“I started swimming when I was 8,” she said. “My older brother swam, and it was easier to put me in the water than chasing me around the deck.”

Leduc said her children followed in her footsteps.

“All four of mine swim or swam [in college], and actually my final one, my son, will start college swimming in January,” she said. 

Her impressive coaching career began when she was in college.

“I’ve coached for almost 30 years now,” she said. “I started out being a competitive swimming counselor when I was in college. I swam [at Colorado State] and that’s how I got introduced to coaching.”

From there, she went on to coach high school and club in North Carolina, before her career sent her to Florida, Texas, Rhode Island, and eventually Virginia.

Landon describes herself as “a perfectionist.”

“I pay attention to details,” she said. “I’ve been told I’m intense because I set high expectations.”

As for her priorities as a coach, Landon says she wants swimmers to be “smart.”

“I want them to learn and evaluate how they’re swimming and try and improve off of that,” she said. “I want them to understand that going up and down the pool as fast as you can may not do what you want to do.”

She said she sees the most improvement when athletes focus on the details.

“You have to pay attention to all the little things,” she said. “The walls, the starts, how you’re pacing your races.”

This season, Landon said she looks forward to seeing swimmers learn, grow, and be proud of who they are as a team.

[Marshall swimmers] have been great and really welcoming,” she said. “And [they’re] a lot of fun so I’m very excited about the season.