The men’s and women’s Ohio Wesleyan University swim teams have started their season with grueling early morning workouts and demanding weeks that include 15 hours of practice time.
Both the teams have started off their season 1-1 and are looking to get their first NCAC win this Saturday when they travel to Wittenberg.
Coach Dick Hawes said the team is gearing up for the season by focusing on the more minor, but still crucial, elements of swimming, like stroke technique, flip turns, starts and muscle conditioning.
“The start of our season focuses on kicking to get the larger muscle groups in shape and cut down on shoulder problems.” Hawes said.
“We have performed well with how tired they are at this point of the season.”
“We have been focusing on our turns and coming off our walls.”
Junior Andy Cumston said he is not phased by the early workouts or long practice hours as they are beneficial preparation.
“Morning practices help with building up our yardage for the drop at the end of the season.” Cumston said.
“It’s vital to stay energized by eating healthy, but also by making sure you are getting enough of your key nutrients and protein to help your body stay healthy so it can be ready for the next practice.”
Last year the women finished 8th in the conference and the men finished 6th. The NCAC has been known to be perhaps the strongest conference in Division III swimming.
Kenyon College, one of OWU’s biggest NCAC rivals, has won the NCAA National Championship 33 times out of the last 35 years.
Despite the tough competition, the teams believe in themselves to get better and improve on last season’s mark.
“The team feels confident in our abilities that we can focus on what we need to improve and become a stronger team.” Cumston said.
“It’s important to not swim against the other teams but to improve on your own personal times at each meet and to support your teammates.”