Swimming and diving teams ready for Horizon League championship
With the Horizon League Championships one month away, the Wright State men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams look to maintain their hopes of winning conference title as the season draws to a close.
Both teams have experiences varying degrees of success during the season.
The WSU women’s team eased past Ashland University with a 142-99 win, only to be soundly defeated at the hands of Ohio State 26 days later, 171-102. WSU also lost to Youngstown State and Cleveland State on Jan. 19, 165-135 and 213.5-86.5 during a tri-meet in Cleveland.
Despite the performances, senior Justyna Hampel, winner of the 500 yard freestyle event against the Buckeyes (5:05.84) and 200 yard freestyle event against the Penguins (1:54.30), believes both teams exhibit a gritty attitude in the pool.
“I think we are determined,” Hampel said. “We are smaller than other teams in our conference, especially our girls’ team. I think that helps us stay determined, strong and fight more. Since we do not have as many swimmers in terms of numbers, we just have to give everything.”
The WSU men’s team has now dropped three consecutive decisions, including a narrow defeat to Ashland (117-113), and two blowout losses to Ohio State (177-102) and Cleveland State (193-100).
Freshman Matt Dassow and junior John Vigar highlighted WSU’s efforts against Ashland. Dassow placed first in the 1000 free (9.49.17) and 200 fly (1:58.78) events, while Vigar took down the 200 free (1:44.07) and 500 free (4:42.58) events.
Freshman Nathan Meyer, the men’s only diver, won the one and three meter diving events, beating out Ashland sophomore Colin MacDonald (242.00-211.45 and 228.90-199.60, respectively) on both occasions.
“Our coaches strive for nothing but the best out of our team, and have been putting in their time to accomplish that,” Meyer said. “Whether it’s in the weight room or the pool, we work hard as a team and are all determined to accomplish the goal of conference champions.”
With two meets left before the Horizon League Championships (Feb. 27 in Chicago), Hampel says WSU is not fazed by its inconsistent performances and inability to build momentum in recent matchups against Ohio opponents.
“I don’t think it really matters that much because we have only dual meets before conference and (head coach) Sion [Brinn] always tells us that while obviously we want to do well at the dual meets, it’s not going to be the end of the world if we lose,” Hampel said.
Head Coach Sion Brinn believes his team has the mental aspect of competition under control.
“We are mentally the same as we have been all year,” Brinn said. “We are kind of drained and tired from the season so far, and physically [the team] is making that transition from working hard to tapering, so basically we are right on track.”