Edinboro Swimming Teams Look for High Finish at PSAC Meet

Category:  Sports
Wednesday, February 17th, 2016 at 7:28 PM
Edinboro Swimming Teams Look for High Finish at PSAC Meet by Michael McLaughlin
The swim team will be competing in the PSAC championships on Thursday, Feb. 18.

The Edinboro swim team will travel to York, Pennsylvania on Thursday, Feb. 18 to compete in the PSAC championships.

The conference championships go from Thursday through Sunday.

Head coach Chris Rhodes expects Holly Stein and Breanna Purnell to be competing with the leaders in their events this weekend.

Rhodes emphasized that on the men’s side, it is very competitive this year. He expects Micah Cattell, Justin Ransel and Francis Folz to be competitive in their events.

Rhodes said that distance wise, Josh Beabout is seeded very well.

“I think top five would be great for both programs,” Rhodes said of where each team would like to finish this weekend.

Rhodes noted, however, the overall goal for the team is to go to the meet and swim fast. He said doing that will set the teams up for a good finish.

In each team’s dual meets throughout the season, the swimmers have been doing multiple events each meet in order for the team to earn more points against their one opponent. This weekend, however, the swimmers are able to focus on their specialty events.

The higher finishes in a championship meet are worth more points than in a dual meet, so it is better for the team to invest in an individual’s specified event.

“It’s so difficult and challenging, and it just comes down to racing,” Rhodes said of swimmers trying to qualify for nationals.

He says he has swimmers who have the potential to make it to nationals, but that it comes down to how they race on that day.

The team started to taper last week and Rhodes said, “this is the best we’ve looked physically.”

In the tapering process, the team has been swimming less, distance wise, and focusing more on hard repetitions with more recovery. They have also been working on little things like technique, which will be essential during the races at the PSAC meet.

Places can be separated by hundredths of seconds, especially in the shorter events, so every millisecond counts.

Rhodes believes it is a mental meet and it will come down to the athletes believing in themselves and the training they’ve put in.

“Everything is geared toward their specialty now,” Rhodes said.

Rhodes said he expects the girls’ 400-freestyle relay to place well and both the men’s and women’s medley relays should compete as well.

“The exciting [thing] about relays is that anything can happen,” he said.

“It takes four great swims to get it going and when I look at the meet, I think we are going to have some very strong relays.”

According to Rhodes, the athletes look at this meet from the perspective that if they swim how they’re capable, then the team will be successful.

“I think that’s what’s so great about the sport of swimming is that it’s a team sport, but at the same time as an individual, you can still be successful,” Rhodes said.

Rhodes continued, saying the athletes have been thrown some curveballs in order for them to be prepared mentally for the meet.

In some cases, the athletes may have to roll with the punches, especially if things don’t go their way. They should be prepared for those situations.

Since the tournament is spaced out over a few days, it gives the swimmers the potential to do just one event per day, so they can recover and be fresh for each of their races.

The men’s and women’s teams each finished in seventh place at the conference championships last year.

Michael McLaughlin is the Sports Editor for The Spectator and he can be reached at sports.spectator@gmail.com.

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