Both the Eastern Michigan University men’s and women’s swim and diving teams will be opening their seasons at home Oct. 6 at the Green and White Meet, which is an inner squad meet where the swimmers will go up against their own teammates to start off the year before they face their first competitive meet against Northwestern Oct. 18.
The Green and White Meet will not hurt the team’s record and will allow them to see the potential of the incoming freshman and set the pace for the coming season.
The men’s and women’s teams are two of the most successful and winning teams for EMU. The men performed well in the Mid-American Conference last year, winning the championship and putting their total to a record 30 MAC championships. The women’s team has also won two MAC titles in their history, but only managed to come in fifth place last season.
Senior freestyle distance swimmer Frankie DeMaria is ready for the season to begin and said the Green and White Meet will set the tone.
“We are ready and really want to repeat as conference champions again this season,” DeMaria said. “We haven’t actually swam a lot so far this year, so it will be good to get back in there. The Green and White is sort of a practice for us but it’s still pretty competitive; we push each other. We got to get ready for Northwestern.”
The teams’ performance doesn’t just end in the swimming pool; it continues in the classroom. Both teams were recently honored for their academic successes during the 2011-12 season by the College Swimming Coaches Association of American. The men’s team had a 3.11 combined GPA, which ranked them 41st for men’s athletic teams in the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the women’s team had a 3.33 combined GPA, the 64th best for women’s division one teams.
The teams also sent swimmers to Omaha Nebraska to compete in the Olympic trials during the summer. Junior Briana Emig, junior Jacob Hanson, freshman Mike Fisher, senior Troy Esentan, junior Michael
Swain and Brian Moore all competed at the trials.
While none of the swimmers were able to advance to the final heat, Hanson came close to making it to the final session of the 200-meter backstroke coming in 18th place. Despite not making it to the London Olympics, the team did get crucial experience swimming against the best in the nation.
The current swimmers are ready to return to the pool and have high expectations this season and hope to keep up their winning ways.
“We are pretty humble guys,” DeMaria said. “I don’t think we have let success get to our heads, but we want to defend our title. The year before we actually lost the MAC, but it just drove us to work harder and we got back there last year and won. It’s our drive that makes our team so good. We lose every now and then, but it just pushes us to work harder every day.”
The Green and White Meet will begin at 1 p.m. at Jones Natatorium in the Rec/IM.