Courtesy: Minnesota Athletics
MINNEAPOLIS – The Minnesota swimming and diving teams have chosen their captains for the 2023-24 season, head coach Kelly Kremer announced Friday.
Fifth-year senior-to-be Desmon Sachtjen has been tabbed a captain for the second year in a row, and he is joined by rising senior Kaiser Neverman. The women’s squad has tabbed rising seniors Megan Van Berkom and Paula Rodriguez Rivero to lead the group, while diving has selected senior-to-be Av Osero as its captain.
A Lodi, Wis., native, Sachtjen is looking to build off his senior campaign, the highlight of which was breaking his own school record in the 200 back in the prelims of the Big Ten Championships. In addition, his prelim time in the 100 back was a personal best and he moved into 12th all-time in the 200 IM at Big Tens. Sachtjen also received team accolades at the end-of-season team banquet as he was named winner of the Hardest Worker Award for the second year in a row, as well as the Outstanding Student-Athlete Award (GPA of 3.50+).
A 2023 CSC Academic All-District honoree and Academic All-Big Ten selection, Sachtjen posted 10 race victories last season, including seven as an individual.
Neverman is a captain for the first time after a record-breaking junior season. The Green Bay, Wis., native was a part of five school marks last season, including the 100 fly, 200 fly, 200 IM, 200 medley relay and 800 free relay. He also set personal bests in the 50 free, 200 free and 100 breast. He was named winner of Most Improved, the Iron Fish Award (going above and beyond in performance training) and the W.I.N. Award (Whatever is Needed) at the 2023 team banquet
A two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree, Neverman reached the NCAA Championships for the first time last season, competing in the 100 fly, 200 fly and the aforementioned relays. He won 18 races last year, 10 as an individual and eight as part of relays.
Van Berkom was a First-Team All-American last season as she finished sixth in the 400 IM at the NCAA Championships. She also qualified for the 200 fly and 200 IM. The Chatham, Ill., native garnered three medals at the Big Ten Championships, placing second in the 400 IM and third in the 200 fly and 200 IM to take home Second Team All-Big Ten accolades. After setting personal records in the 100 free, 200 free, 1000 free and 200 back during the season, she won the “W.I.N.” (Whatever Is Needed) award at the team banquet.
The 2022 Big Ten Champion in the 400 IM, she’s also the school record holder in the 200 fly and 200 IM and ranks second in team history for the 400 IM, 13th for the 1000 free and 14th for the 500 free. She won 13 times as an individual last year and once as part of a relay.
Rodriguez Rivero reached the podium twice last year as an individual at the Big Ten Championships, finishing seventh in both the 100 back and 200 back. She was also sixth as part of the 400 medley relay. Winner of Hardest Worker and Most Improved at 2023 team banquet, she ranks fourth in team history for the 200 back and fifth for the 100 back.
A native of Gran Canaria, Spain, Rodriguez Rivero won five times last season, including four times as an individual. She set personal records in all four events she competed: the 100 free, 500 free, 100 back and 200 back.
Like Neverman, Osero also qualified for the NCAA Championships for the first time in her career this past season, competing on both the 1-meter and 3-meter. She had three top-three finishes throughout the season, and at the Georgia Diving Invite she cracked Minnesota’s all-time list with the 14th-best score in program history on the 3-meter. Hailing from Neenah, Wis., Osero is a two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection.