Ball State men's swimming and diving team head to GVSU

Freshman Ben Andrew swims breaststroke during the 200 yard individual medley at the Red and White Meet in the Lewellen Pool on Oct. 15, 2016.  The white team won 100-96. Kaiti Sullivan // DN
Freshman Ben Andrew swims breaststroke during the 200 yard individual medley at the Red and White Meet in the Lewellen Pool on Oct. 15, 2016. The white team won 100-96. Kaiti Sullivan // DN

After a weekend off from competition, the Ball State men’s swimming and diving team travel to Grand Valley State for a dual meet this weekend.

Both the Cardinals (2-0) and the Lakers (4-1) come into the meet with winning overall records. Head coach Bob Thomas said he expects good competition against GVSU.

“Grand Valley State is one of the top Division II schools in the country and very competitive,” Thomas said.  “I hope the competition can bring out the best for our guys.”

Thomas said he thinks his athletes have been improving in multiple events this season.

“We have been counting on performances from Austin Green [in sprints and 200 relay], Tanner Barton [in 100 and 200 Butterfly events],” Thomas said.  “Also, Chase Jackson in the backstroke events and Cullen Tyler in the breaststroke events.”

During the team's last meet against Tiffin, senior Mitch Prather swam a 1:05.49 in the 100 breaststroke.  Prather said he hopes he can get his time under one minute.

"Basically, I want to keep dropping time and make an impact on the team,” Prather said.

Because this is the first away meet, Prather will have to get prepared earlier and eating a healthy breakfast.

“I have to relax a little more on the bus and try to not psych myself out,” Prather said. “I want to be in the zone, after departing from the bus.”

Also at the meet against Tiffin, junior Zach Toman swam his 100 breaststroke time in 1:02.07.  

This week during practice, the team has been completing lactate sets.

“During these sets, we have been pushing ourselves a lot harder than the past couple years I have been here,” Toman said.  “My times have improved, compared to last year’s times.”

On the boards, diving coach Nick Gayes said the upcoming meet is a time to learn new dives.

“Everyone on our team has to do at least one new dive. Grand Valley State’s team is a pretty good Division II team,” Gayes said.

Gayes said the team is working on many new dives during practices.

Lane Sawyer is working on a reverse two and a half, which is when the diver faces the water and rotates backward after the takeoff. 

Jeremy Taylor is working on a new twister — a nickname for a twisting dive.

The meet is at Grand Valley State at 1 p.m. Nov. 18.

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