By Tim Alford
Only a few weeks into the season, the men’s swimming and diving team won their second meet against Urbana over the weekend.
According to junior diver Anthony Peddle and sophomore swimmer Thomas Horsfall, the team has started off the season strong.
Peddle said having a diving coach this season has given him more confidence.
“We are all working through our dive lists strengthening what we already have and moving towards newer dives, as well as increasing our degree of difficulty as we go along,” Peddle said. “We should improve on how we approach competitions. We’re an awesome team, and we can hold our own.”
Horsfall said the team is consistent and is dedicated. He said this is shown by the amount of training that takes place outside of the pool with activities such as running and lifting. Despite this, he said he still thinks there needs to be some improvements with the team.
“What I think the team needs to improve on is communication among the team,” Peddle said. “I feel as a whole, the team can split itself into smaller cliques of people and that causes some separation from different parts of the team. But the season is young and I believe as we get deeper into the season, those walls will be broken down.”
Unlike many other sports teams, the swimming and diving teams are scored together. Also, both the men’s and women’s teams practice and travel to meets together. Junior swimmer Jacob Beach said he has never been on a swimming team that definitively separates the guys from the girls.
“This is a defining characteristic of swimming and I think it leads to why swimming is such a close sport,” Beach said. “You are spending so many hours a week with the same people, you have to love each other.”
Peddle agreed with Beach and said the teams work together well.
“Our camaraderie is unlike any other team, in my opinion,” Peddle said. “We have men and women, swimmers and divers, mixed grades. We don’t have starters…we’re all one team and compete as such. I love this team and I’m so lucky to be a part of it.”
Horsfall said while he thinks working alongside the girl’s team and the dive team opens up more possibilities for friendships and building unity, he feels it can divide the team sometimes.
“I hear people disagree with listening to members of the team for that reason,” Horsfall said. “We are a team. Yes, by gender we are different, but we all make up the OWU swim team and that (disagreement) is something that needs to be changed. If we can change that, I think the teams’ unity will be stronger.”
Peddle explained how the scoring for the diving team factors into the team score.
“Diving is an individual scoring event, so each of our dives count towards our personal score,” he said. “(This) will place us first, second, or third, which if you place in the top three, you win points for the swimming and diving team – which determines if we win or lose.”
Peddle said the divers have some goals for this season.
“One goal we all have is to continually improve,” he said. “(Also) beat our scores from our previous meet and learn a new dive, or two, or three a week to increase our degree of difficulty.”
Horsfall said he plans to improve individually but has goals for the team as well.
“For the team, my goals are to win more meets than last season,” he said. “We work hard and I think our new, strong freshman class really gives us an edge on other teams. For myself, the only goals I have are to improve my stroke and to drop time.”
Horsfall said staying consistent in practice will be key to reaching the goals.
“Swimming is a sport where just a few days out of the water is detrimental to what you have been working on all season,” he said. “They say a day out of practice for a swimmer is comparable to three days out for any other athlete.”
The next meet for the team is Nov. 17 and 18 at home for the Corbiere/Merion Invitational. Beach said this meet is a big deal for the team as they swim against several Division II and III teams. At press time, the starting time for the meet was still unannounced.