Sophomore Spencer Ball swims the 200-yard IM during the meet against Eastern Michigan on Jan. 13 in Lewellen Pool. Ball finished first with a time of 2:02.41. Terence K. Lightning Jr., DN
Men’s swim and dive will honor senior class in final home dual meet
This weekend is the last time head swimming coach Bob Thomas will coach the Class of 2018.
“The goal is to have the seniors go out on top,” Thomas said. “A lot of that means having them swim their best times.”
The Cardinals (1-4, 0-2 MAC) square off against another Mid-American Conference opponent just three weeks until MAC Championships. Thomas said it’s a great opportunity to face the three MAC opponents this season.
“I wish we could swim against all of the MAC schools during the season,” Thomas said. “But just to swim against three is a real privilege.”
Going up against the Miami Redhawks (1-5, 0-1 MAC) this weekend, Thomas wants his team to achieve one goal: have more unrested best times than against Notre Dame. Thomas said, “Every weekend, we’ve got guys going a little bit faster.”
That’s what senior Isaac Walling is looking to achieve. Walling’s best unrested time in the 500-yard freestyle is 4:57.40, which he swam in a dual meet against Eastern Michigan. Walling wants to get some personal-records in the 500-yard freestyle.
“I haven’t had a best time in a while,” Walling said. “I have been slower than I have been previously in this part of the season. But I think if I can go a low 4:50 in the 500, I would be okay with that.”
For Walling and two other seniors, this is their last home meet. Walling said at the beginning he could always find someone he can trust on the team.
“I felt like I was a part of a family and a group that was very supportive,” Walling said. “I will always have somebody to swim next to me, race me and train together.”
Another Cardinal to watch is sophomore Ben Andrew. Andrew swam some off events like the 100-yard backstroke and 200-yard Individual Medley against Notre Dame. Andrew said it’s nice to switch things up and focus on other things.
During practices this week, Andrew said he has been focusing on the little things. He said, “It’s just small technique things — not breathing off the walls and not taking too many breaths.”
For the diving team, this weekend is all about turning things around. Head diving coach Nick Gayes said his team didn’t do well against Notre Dame.
“It wasn’t a good day for us,” Gayes said. “They have been diving much better these three practices that we have had so far this week, as opposed to how they dove against Notre Dame.”
Junior Gabe Dean would agree with his coach. Dean said he wants to improve his dives.
“I have seen some improvement in one-meter, and with the last meet here at home, I definitely want to keep stepping that up,” Dean said. “Three-meter is where I have been shaky at meets, so I need to put up a good list and have that under my belt before MAC.”
The Cardinals will need to watch for these RedHawks: freshman Austin Theobald, sophomore Diego Gonzalez Valentim and junior Harrison Moncino. In a dual meet against Xavier last weekend, Theobald won the 500-yard freestyle in 4:43.91, while Valentim won the 100-yard freestyle in 45.94 seconds. Moncino scored 329.10 points in three-meter diving.
The meet will begin at 1 p.m. at Lewellen Aquatic Center.
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