The Eastern Michigan University men’s swim team opens their 2012-13 campaign Oct. 19 against Northwestern University from the Big Ten Conference at Jones Natatorium.
EMU’s men’s and women’s swim coach Peter Linn said the team is trying to establish the things they are working on so they can be where they need to be come February and March.
With the Eagles having the advantage at home, Linn said, “It [Jones Natatorium] is a terrific facility, but it doesn’t have any quirks that make it difficult for competitors to swim fast, but travel can impact your performances and the fact they [Northwestern] have to drive four and a half hours to get here, that might take a little bit out of them.”
Expectations are high for the Eagles swim team as they look to defend their Mid-American Conference championship from last season.
Numerous EMU swimmers are returning for another season and are looking to make an impact.
Swimmers to look out for are seniors Jacob Hanson and Michael Swain and sophomore Brian Moore, who all participated in the U.S. Olympic Swimming trials this past July in Omaha, Neb.
Hanson’s events are the backstroke and the individual medley. Last season, he was the one Eagle who qualified for the NCAA Division I men’s swimming championships with a time of 1:42:28. At the championships, Hanson finished seventh in the 200-backstroke finals with a time of 1:42:32.
Swain’s events are the breaststroke and individual medley. Last season, he was named to the all-MAC second team after helping EMU win its 30th MAC conference championship title.
Moore’s event is the freestyle. He was also named to the all-MAC second team in last season’s conference championship.
A new season means that seniors have graduated and fresh, new faces are filling the void.
This year there are nine freshmen who will make their EMU debuts this weekend: Austin Butcher, Dylan Crompton, Krzysztof Gilski, Erik Gissen, Andrew Henry, Chris Hodges, Blake Howe, Brad Lebling and Miles MacDonald are looking forward to contributing to the quest for EMU’s 31st MAC championship.
With injuries not being a factor giving how young the season is, expect all of the swimmers to give their maximum effort in this meet.
“Everyone has to contribute,” Linn said. “I don’t think that we can just rely on one class, so we need everyone regardless of the class to step up in this meet.”
That is the formula that Linn has used to help the swimmers realize their full potential and exceed their own expectation levels.
The Oct. 19 meet is scheduled for 3 p.m. and admission is free for all EMU students.
The next scheduled match-up is Nov. 2 when the Eagles travel to Detroit to take on the Wayne State Warriors.