Ball State Women’s Swim and Dive need success from Vormohr, Bertram to achieve higher team placing

<p>Junior Rachel Bertram dives during the meet against Grand Valley State on Nov. 18,2017, in Lewellen Pool. The Cardinals won the meet, 164-136. <strong>Kaiti Sullivan, DN</strong></p>

Junior Rachel Bertram dives during the meet against Grand Valley State on Nov. 18,2017, in Lewellen Pool. The Cardinals won the meet, 164-136. Kaiti Sullivan, DN

Anne Vormohr remembers seeing her mom, Marcie, and wondering ‘did I make it?’ 

Marcie Vormohr stood tallying up the top preliminary swimming times. Within minutes, the pair thought they had an answer.  

“She was like, ‘I think you’re in. I think you’re in,’” Anne Vormohr said. “And I was super excited, especially to represent Ball State.”

 Vormohr had finished 12th and 14th in the backstroke events at last season’s Mid-American Conference Championships. A pair of Cardinals earned top-16 finishes in two different events at those championships: juniors Vormohr and Rachel Bertram.

Now Ball State’s Women’s Swim and Dive is looking to them to carry the team to a higher placing.

Setting the bar 

As a senior in high school, Vormohr had some lofty goals for herself in collegiate swimming. Arriving to Ball State three years ago, Vormohr said she expected herself to be in this position to lead the team.

“I had set these goals back in high school: placing at the MAC Championship and placing in the top 8,” Vormohr said. “But I do have bigger goals. My goal is still to place in the top 8. I hope to achieve that.”

While Vormohr has led the swimmers with high placing in the pool, Bertram has done the same for diving. 

Last season, Bertram finished seventh in both the 1- and 3-meter dive. For the championships this season, Bertram said she wants to feel more relaxed and have fun because that means she doesn’t have to worry about anything else.

“If I just let loose and not think about placing higher or lower, then I can compete better,” Bertram said. “I’m not going to worry about it and just focus on doing my best.”

Aiming higher 

For the team as a whole, the Cardinals are hoping to improve their placing. In the past, the Cardinals have ended the season near the bottom of the conference, finishing eighth for the last five years. 

Earlier this season, head coach J. Agnew said he wanted his team to focus on technique, stroke mechanics and improving efficiency. He said his team is going into the championships with a lot of confidence.

“We have put ourselves in a position to be in the top 16 and hopefully top 8,” Agnew said. “Our team is tired of being last. We can’t control what other teams can do, but we can swim our hearts out.”

Bigger meets like the conference championship can create pressure, and Vormohr said she feels it heading into the MAC Championships. Needing to swim a personal-best time, representing Ball State and needing to do well for teammates and coaches are all in her head.

“I feel that everyone feels a sense of pressure going into a championship meet,” Vormohr said. “I don’t feel that I’m the only one, but I do feel a bigger sense of pressure this year.”

Akron has been one of the more successful teams at the MAC Championships in recent years. According to the MAC Women’s Top 20 Best Time Rankings of the 2018-19 season, the Zips have the top times in all five of the relays (200-, 400- and 800-yard freestyle and 200- and 400-yard individual medley) as well as six out of 16 events. Agnew said his team is excited to compete and can promise one thing.

“I can promise you that our ladies will be ready to compete,” Agnew said. “I don’t know where we will finish, but we’re going to show up and race like Cardinals.”  

Contact Patrick Murphy with comments at or on Twitter @PMURPH505.