The Eastern Michigan University swimming and diving teams held an intrasquad meet in the Jones Natatorium Saturday to round out preseason training. The men’s white team won 140-114 while the women’s green team took a victory with a 136-121 score.
Junior Sara Ghaffari paced the women’s team with three wins that included the women’s 200-yard individual medley relay and 100-yard backstroke. Junior swimmers Monica Dorszewski and Jessica Godlewski both won a pair of events at the meet.
Sophomore Andrew Henry had a great meet as he had four victories on the afternoon for the men’s team. Henry’s wins included the 200-yard individual medley and 200-yard freestyle. Senior Gus Everson and freshman Kyle Lichtenberg got victories in two events.
Head coach Peter Linn didn’t expect much out of his swimmers since this meet didn’t count in the standings, but was impressed with the swimmers showing some competitiveness in the exhibition meet.
“[The swimmers] brought a lot of energy to it,” Linn said. “It was sort of a dress rehearsal. We don’t expect them to be lights-out great; we just want to make sure they know what to do when they get to a real meet.”
The energy showed up in the meet with some very close finishes. Everson narrowly won the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 21.82, beating freshman Erik Brinkhoff by .04 seconds. In the men’s 100-yard freestyle, junior Oded Ivry was victorious in the men’s 100-yard freestyle. Ivry touched the wall with a time of 48.24 to beat fellow junior Brian Moore by .07 seconds.
Linn said he let the swimmers choose which teams they wanted to be on as well as some of the events to participate in where they normally wouldn’t be inserted to swim in.
“We can’t change the lineups, yet we need them to have some experience in more than one event,” Linn said. “So we put them in some of the events here that they would not normally swim to give them that experience. Some of them want to do it just because they want to have fun, and they don’t do it often and they like that event.”
A meet like this allowed freshmen like Cole Bateman, a native from Hutchinson, Minn., the chance to show what they can do and get a sense for what the competition in a dual meet would look like. Bateman won the men’s 200-yard backstroke competition.
“I thought it was a great experience,” Bateman said. “It was my first college meet.”
With this being the final event for preseason training, confidence and optimism is very high among the members of teams they could succeed and get off to a good start to the season in Evanston, Ill.
“Overall, I feel like we’ve got a solid set going into this season,” Bateman said
“I think we can win all the dual meets,” junior swimmer Pauline Vigneron added. “The guys can win the MAC Championship.”
After the meet, the diving team held an annual team fundraiser. The squad performed many diving stunts and held a raffle to help raise money for the team.
The season opener for both teams will be a dual meet on the road at Northwestern University Saturday Oct. 18. The men’s team will face the Wildcats while the women’s team squares off with the Wildcats and the Fighting Illini of The University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.
Last season, the men’s team opened up at Northwestern with a 157-141 victory. Linn is very confident that the opening meets will be a test for his squad.
“Both Northwestern and Illinois will be real challenges for both teams,” Linn said. “It’s hard for me to judge until I see their results.”