116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CORALVILLE — Linn-Mar boys’ swimming coach Tom Belin is excited.
Despite losing a dual to Iowa City West last week, Belin is happy with how far Aiden Carstensen has come as a swimmer and an athlete the last four years.
“The best thing is that a kid at that level knows what his body can do, and he coaches himself,” Belin said after Carstensen won the 200-yard individual medley and 100 butterfly last week. “My whole role is to help him out on how he can become a better overall swimmer.
“It is great to know that he is already a talented swimmer and just awesome to see him go after his goals.”
Belin knows Carstensen will do well in his next chapter of swimming because of how good of a competitor he is.
“As a coach there is a lot of gratitude in seeing kids improve every day,” Belin said. “He has a God-given talent and I am happy I got to work with him for the last four years to help make him an elite-level swimmer.
“There’s a lot of happiness in seeing that happen.”
Carstensen is excited for his future at South Dakota State, but also wants to keep improving throughout the rest of this season. The Mississippi Valley Conference meet is Saturday at the University of Iowa’s Campus Recreation and Wellness Center. Then it’s districts at Linn-Mar on Feb. 5 and back to Iowa City for the state meet Nov. 11-12.
“My goal for the rest of the season is to drop more time and try to get to where the fastest I can be as a swimmer,” he said. “I want to bring my teammates along for the ride.
“Our team goal is to make it to state and have an overall good team environment. Whether it is cheering our teammates on, or being accountable for one another throughout the season.”
Carstensen picked South Dakota State after a friend asked him to do a camp at the Brookings, S.D., school.
“I had never heard of the school prior to that,” he said. “I loved the overall atmosphere of the campus and everything else about it. The coaches and the team members of the Jackrabbits were great to talk to.
“I went back on an official team visit and it just felt like home away from home.”