Seniors Jacob Eckert and Tanner Barton were voted in by their peers and coach as the 2016-2017 captains for Ball State men’s swimming and diving.

Barton said being chosen as a captain is a very rewarding experience.

“I was honored to be captain last year as a junior, so to be re-elected by my teammates and my coach in my senior season is really humbling,” Barton said.

Head coach Bob Thomas said the pair showed leadership from the beginning, when they were freshmen stepping through the doors of Lewellen Aquatic Center for the first time.

“They portray certain leadership skills that the rest of team recognizes," Thomas said. "Eventually, their skills are honed to the point that the rest of the team votes them as their leaders."

Being named captain a second time wasn't going to make or break Barton's season, though.

“It would not phase me in any way, because I think anyone on this team can be a captain in his own right," Barton said. "So I feel as though captain is a title and every person brings something different to the table."

Eckert said he wants to bring the team together, while Barton said his goal is to get the team hyped before every meet with a “Ball State breakout cheer”.

“That usually gets the energy going and gets the guy ready to race," Barton said.

Since he was six years old, Barton wanted to swim for a collegiate program. Eckert did not know he was going to even swim.

“Honestly, it did not occur to me my junior year of high school, and I got a few interest letters from colleges," he said. "I was shocked, to say the least, that I got one, so to be swimming now is just icing on the cake."

Eckert and Barton will get their first chance to lead the Cardinals against outside competition this season in the Indiana Intercollegiate, held at Purdue University Oct. 22.