Last one, Fast one for Wittenberg Swimming and Diving
The Wittenberg University men’s and women’s swim teams are in the final lap of their season. In a journey that began in September, the Tigers had a lot to prove this year. Both teams lost a lot in the graduating class of 2013, in terms of speed and leadership. However, don’t count on the swim team to become complacent with anything less that what they were able to achieve last year. This is evident in how the Tigers have progressed through fall semester and winter break.
After taking some time off during winter break, the men’s and women’s swim teams reconvened back on campus on Dec. 30, where after a day of practice, they were ready to hop on the bus and drive for 24 hours to Deerfield Beach, Florida. This Florida training trip is no walk on the beach, however, as the conditioning-based practices proved to be more challenging than any in recent years.
“Our practices have been different this year. Its been more difficult than my first two years here but because we have changed up the practices. It’s been a fine adjustment,” says junior AJ Burt. Burt, who was in Washington D.C. during the first semester, rejoined the team in Florida after a record-breaking year last season.
After over a week of two-a-day practices the Tigers left Florida on Jan. 8 and made the 24 hour bus trip back to Springfield, getting into town on Jan. 9. Both teams had a practice right after they made it home and the very next day they were in the pool again to swim against the National Championship contending Dennison Big Red. Jan. 10 was the last of the nonstop swimming marathon with an away meet for the Tigers at Hiram, which had both Wittenberg men’s and women’s teams leaving as winners.
“It was a tough couple of days of travel and swimming, but it shows that we can do this we will be ready for the conference meet,” said junior Jared Crum.
A week after Hiram, the Tigers beat Centre College in Kentucky and will close up the dual meet season at Kenyon College. For the rest of the season practices will get easier for the swim team to rest or taper them for their final meet of the season which will be the NCAC Conference Championship which will be held at McKinley High School in Canton, Ohio. The meet starts on Feb. 12 and will go to Feb. 15. The NCAC is easily the best Division III swimming conference in the country with the winner of the NCAA championship for the last 34 years coming from the conference. Kenyon College won 31 straight national titles before losing two in a row to Dennison in 2011 and 2012 with Kenyon winning in 2013.