On Oct. 6, the Eastern Michigan University men’s swim and dive team began preparations for their 31st Mid-American Conference championship with the Green and White Meet that lasted two hours at the Jones Natatorium.
The men’s scrimmage is exclusive to EMU, with no other schools being a part of the meet, and none of the events in the meet counted in terms of overall scoring.
The men’s swimmers and divers use this event to shake off any rust that they might have had in the off-season and be able to show glimpses of what is to come in later meets.
“It tends to be one of those meets where it is more half-empty than half-full,” EMU men’s and women’s swimming head coach Peter Linn said. “We make a checklist of the stuff we have to work on because we have only been training for a little over three weeks.”
Expectations are high for the swim and dive team as they are looking to defend their MAC championship from last season.
The high expectations are something Linn embraces, but at the same time he is always cautious of letting his swimmers and divers begin to believe that they are invincible.
“Compete like you are number one, but train like you are number two,” Linn said.
With that training mentality, the Eagles should once again be a force to be reckoned with in the MAC this season.
“We try to make the elements of the practice as close as it would be to a race as possible,” Linn said.
One swimmer to watch out for from Saturday’s Green and White Meet is senior Jacob Hanson, who stood out in the meet by being the fastest in the 200 individual medley among all of the EMU swimmers.
Hanson’s specialties are the breaststroke and the individual medley. He is expected to be one of the top swimmers this season for the Eagles and will be counted on in every single meet.
One diver to watch this season is senior Andrew Saunders, who competed in the Olympic trials this past summer to attempt to make the Canadian Olympic team. He fell short of the team, but will use that experience as motivation.
The meet was also used to put the swimmers in events that they normally would not participate in any other time.
“It is just judging where we are, and in some cases some people were not swimming in their normal events; it was just to give them racing experience,” Linn said.
When asked about how much the diving coach Loren “Buck” Smith brings to the table to help better the performance of EMU’s freshmen divers, Linn said, “Buck has done a great job with them, and since they didn’t score in our conference meet, we would like to see them score at some point.”
The Eagles’ next swim and dive meet is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 19 when the Northwestern Wildcats visit the Jones Natatorium.
Meet time is scheduled for 3 p.m.