Swimming and diving teams look ahead to conference tournament
Arms and shoulders rip through the water. The floor inside the WSU Natatorium is soaked as several swimmers complete another grueling round of sit-ups.
Preparation for the 2013 Horizon League Swimming and Diving Championships (Feb. 27- March 1 in Chicago) is well underway at Wright State. With just one week before the Raiders depart for the Windy City, Head coach Sion Brinn reflected on just how far his athletes have come over the course of the season.
“I’d say a lot of high school kids turned into college kids while they were here,” Brinn said. “We have a very young team, and they’ve gone through the changes of basically maturing. In the competitive season, you’re competing against good teams all of the time, and they definitely took a while to adapt but I think they finally did.”
In recent meets, WSU wasted no time getting into conference championship form. The men’s team defeated Cincinnati 178-120 on Senior Day Feb. 9. The Raiders had 12 swimmers take first place against the Bearcats, including senior Davynn Peffer who set a Natatorium record in the 200-meter breaststroke with a time of 2:04.88.
Brinn thinks the Raiders will have a leg up on their competition in certain events at the conference championships.
“On the men’s side, I think we’re pretty strong in the distance events and freestyle across the board,” Brinn said. “On the female side, I think we have one of the top distance girls (Justyna Hampel) in the conference.”
The women’s team recorded seven first-place finishes in a 164-127 loss to Cincinnati on Feb. 9. Senior Justyna Hampel took the 1000-meter free event, while senior Makenzie Weldon won the 200 IM event and freshman Samantha TenEyck won the three meter diving competition.
Before they hit the water in Chicago, Brinn will focus on the strong effort his teams showed throughout the season for motivation.
“Just think about the hard work during the year and why we did it,” Brinn said. “We’ve always told them it matters at the end of the year. What happens during the year is only a preparation for what you are trying to accomplish at the end, and now it’s upon us [to] make it worth the while.’”