Updated Mon, Oct 21, 2013 2:41 pm
For the Ohio swimming and diving team, silver isn’t good enough as it prepare itself for the season goal of Mid-American Conference and NCAA Zone champions.
With year-round two-a-days, the ‘Cats are anxious to leap into their regular season. New endurance and strength conditioning workouts early Tuesday and Thursday mornings run by assistant coach Derick Roe help the athletes maintain optimum physical condition in order to preform better in the pool.
“We’ve made some changes to our dry land training as well as our group setups,” Roe said.
With the rest of their practices in the water, the coaches test each swimmer by practicing distance, sprinting, and overall strength in order to create versatile athletes.
Practice adjustments were made due to a smaller coaching staff compared to last season. Roe explained that he and head coach Greg Werner have both taken over coaching the middle distance group to accommodate everyone. He also emphasized how they personalize each athlete’s training schedule to ensure they get the most out of their practice time.
Not only has in-season practice assisted these girls, but as a Division I athlete, they know time and effort must be put in even in the offseason to make sure their dream of a championship comes true.
In hopes of reaching their ultimate goal at the MAC, swimmers Emma Michaels and Haley Clark both kept up with their swimming regimen, making sure they came back in the best possible condition.
Michaels underwent extensive surgery to her rotator cuff and labrum during the 2012-13 season and spent her summer in physical therapy where she rebuilt her shoulder in order to be competitive this season.
“I’m coming off a redshirt year, so I’ll be a third year, and sophomore eligibility,” Michaels said. “I’m just trying to get my shoulder back to how it was freshman year by doing physical therapy exercises. I’m getting there.”
Sophomore Haley Clark focused on her nutrition and training during the summer, and emphasized the positive benefits she received.
“I’m just really trying to get back into shape. We have a new weight and strength coach, which has helped a lot,” said Clark. “By coming back to Athens I got back into shape pretty easily, and back at home (College Station, Texas) I was on a club team, and my dad was actually my coach, which helped a lot also.”
During the summer months, A trio of Ohio divers competed at the 2013 USA Diving National Preliminary Zone A Championships at Virginia Tech this past summer. Juniors Morgan Srail and Haleigh Bartlett participated as well as senior Kristin Capcik.
Placing second in the MAC in the 2012-13 season, one of the goals for the Bobcats is to finish first and improve upon its performance last season. According to the 2013-14 MAC Preseason Poll, Ohio is predicted to finish third.
“Within the pool, I think everyone is going to have to step up and get it done, and accomplish what we are capable of getting done,” said Roe.
To put the girls in the competition mindset, the annual intra-squad meet was held on Oct. 11th where the team overall was split into two squads: Green and White.
“We definitely saw some encouraging things today, but still have things to work on in the next two weeks,” assistant coach Derick Roe said.
The swimmers and divers both worked hard in the offseason are ready to see it pay off as they take to the pool against rival Ball State on Saturday, Oct. 26, at 1 p.m.