This past weekend, both the Eastern Michigan University men’s and women’s swim teams showcased their underclassmen while sprinkling in a few upperclassmen at the Ohio State Winter Invitational in Columbus, Ohio.
Most of the top swimmers on both teams sat out this event to rest up and concentrate on the upcoming Mid-American Conference championships.
Even without his top stars, EMU swimming coach Peter Linn saw this trip from a different perspective.
“We were able to identify areas where [the younger swimmers] can improve and also learned how to more closely match their training with their specific performance goals,” Linn said.
Along with the Eagles, the eight-team field for the women included host school No. 21 ranked Ohio State University Buckeyes, the Baldwin-Wallace College Yellow Jackets, the Penn State University Nittany Lions, the Akron University Zips, the Purdue University Boilermakers, the Bowling Green State University Falcons and the University of Toledo Rockets.
All of EMU’s female swimmers qualified in the preliminary rounds to make the finals.
Freshman Jessica Cavaiani and sophomore Amanda Paliska stood out in the preliminaries with second-place finishes in the 100-yard butterfly and the 100 breaststroke with times of 57.32 seconds and 1 minute, 5.29 seconds, respectively.
In the 400 individual medley final, freshman Adele Schultz gave the Eagles their best finish by touching the wall in third, with a time of 4:36.14, while freshman Sarah Brechenser finished fourth in 4:45.08.
Cavaiani finished fourth in the 100 backstroke final in 1:06.16.
In the 200 butterfly, Schultz touched the wall second in 2:06.87, while sophomore Pauline Vigneron finished third, in 2:10.52.
Brechenser also showed her endurance in the 1,650 freestyle final placing second, in 17:52.94.
On the men’s side including EMU, the five-team field included No. 13 ranked Ohio State, No. 19 ranked Penn State, the University of Buffalo and Baldwin-Wallace College.
As in the women’s preliminaries, all of the EMU male swimmers qualified for the finals.
Senior Frankie DeMaria impressed in the preliminaries by finishing fourth in the 500 freestyle, with a time of 4:33.66.
In the 100 backstroke qualifier, sophomore Nate Schingoethe placed fourth in 50.82.
Junior Aaron Lawson and sophomore Dan Proctor finished fourth and fifth in the 400 individual medley with times of 4:08.87 and 4:11.15, respectively, to qualify for the final.
Schingoethe finished second in the 200 backstroke and the individual medley final with times of 1:54.08 and 1:54.25,
Lawson also put together two second-place finishes in the 400 individual medley and the 200 butterfly with times of 4:06.96 and 1:51.74, respectively.
In the 200 freestyle final, DeMaria placed fourth, with a time of 1:43.34.
“Frankie DeMaria for the men and Adele Schultz for the women impressed me the most and Schultz has a great future [with] our women’s team,” Linn said.
As of press date, no decision has been made by Linn as to whether or not any of the swimmers from this meet will make the final roster for the MAC championships.
The women’s swim and dive team will travel to Buffalo, N.Y., for their MAC championships from Feb. 28-March 2, while the men go down to Carbondale, Ill., from March 7-9.
The men are looking to capture their 31st MAC title and to become back-to-back MAC champions.
Seniors Jacob Hanson and Mike Swain are the swimmers to watch out for.
The women are looking for their first MAC Championship since the 2005-06 season.
Seniors Briana Emig and Lauren Kalinosky are the main swimmers to look out for.
Start times for both of the championships will be a day session at 11 a.m. and a night session at 7 p.m., each day.