Swimming season is upon us once again. The Eastern Michigan University women’s and men’s swimming teams held their annual Green and White meet on Saturday afternoon in the Jones 50M Pool of the REC/IM.
“Basically it’s a dress rehearsal for our swimmers,” head coach Peter Linn said. “There isn’t much done competition-wise this time of year.”
Linn said the inter-squad meet is a way for his coaching staff to see all the things that need to be fixed prior to the season starting up again. “For the most part, I feel we are at the same part and progression from last year,” Linn said. “We’ve been fortunate in prior years, but we work real hard. Therefore, we always have a good shot.”
The swimmers see the meet as a team bonding opportunity and as a chance to prepare for meets in the regular season.
“We haven’t lost a dual meet since I’ve been here, and it starts here at this meet.” Jacob Hanson, a sophomore swimmer, said regarding their dominance in the MAC. “We want to keep this streak going as long as we can.”
Eastern’s men’s swim team claims their dominance over the MAC by having 53 consecutive MAC dual meet victories.
According to Hanson the goals of the team have not changed: repeat a MAC championship and try and get the best times in the NCAA. As far as pressure is concerned, EMU swimmers aren’t having it.
Junior Jake Heyblom said, “We hope to have a repeat of last year. Our focus and determination throughout the year shouldn’t be a problem.”
Hanson added, “Pressure-wise, we love it. We just go out and race, that’s it.”
The meet featured the entire swim and dive team under coach Linn. Statistics aside, the underclassmen held their own against the veterans on the squad. Sophomore Wesley Blassnesk said, “The freshmen overall, had a good outing; they came out really strong.”
Blassneck has high hopes for the women’s season this year after finishing fourth in the MAC last year.
“It’s good to have good incoming freshmen coming in; they keep us on our toes,” Blassnesk said. “Swimming is a long season; sometimes it’s easy to lose sight of our goals. The coaches have been doing a good job in making sure we stay in gear and accomplish our goals and improve every day.”
Linn said the team is a balanced squad this year. “It helps having swimmers with experience for these young swimmers,” Linn said. “They’ve done this before, and they’ve done well at it. It beats doing it for the first time and not knowing what it feels like to succeed.”
The men’s swimming and diving team took home the MAC championships last year for the fourth consecutive time.
“The divers, I’d say are looking pretty good,” Blassnesk said as the divers jumped from their spring boards at their clown stunt show following the meet.
“Oh, they’ve been doing this for 20 years now,” Linn said laughingly. “I make sure not to watch while they’re doing their act. I just couldn’t take it if something happened to them.”
The divers dressed up in their clown-like apparel minus the make-up and wigs. They dove from the top of the catwalk and fell straight down into the deep blue of the pool.
The Eagles start competition at 1 p.m., Oct. 30 on campus at the REC/IM against Ball State University.