Spartan swimmers enjoy mid-season hiatus before championship meets

250 yards down, 250 to go

Skyler Phillips, Contributing Reporter

After the Wooster invitational this winter, the Spartans are just a little over halfway done with their season, with only six meets to go. These meets consist of three dual meets, a conference meet, the NCAA championships and an invitational.

The Spartans have been busy outside of the pool during the long holiday hiatus. The team headed down to Tampa Fla. for winter training sessions. During the trip, several members of the team volunteered their time to a Habitat for Humanity ReStore project in the area. Coach Doug Milliken has instilled a strong sense of community in the involvement in the team, which was demonstrated by this student-motivated experience. The team was training to prepare for the long season still ahead.

The three dual meets will be against Allegheny, Ohio Northern and Baldwin Wallace. Two of the meets will be away meets with the Allegheny meet taking place at the Mellon Pool in Meadville, PA and the Ohio Northern meet taking place at the ONU Sports Center in Ada, Ohio. The meet against Baldwin Wallace will be a home meet, taking place in the Veale Natatorium like all other home meets. The Allegheny meet will be Jan. 18, the Ohio Northern Jan. 25 and the Baldwin Wallace Feb. 1.

After the three dual meets comes the three-day UAA Conference Championship meet, spanning from Feb. 13 to 15. It will be happening at the Woodruff P.E. Center in Atlanta, Ga. and will be hosted by Emory University. The team is looking to improve on last year’s showing at the meet where the men’s team ended up in fourth place and the women’s team ended their conference season in sixth.

Following the UAA Championship, the Spartans will participate in a two-day Midwest Invitational hosted by the University of Chicago on Feb. 21 and 22 which will serve as a gauge of the Spartans’ skill versus area schools.
The last meet that will take place is the Division III NCAA championship meet. Any Spartans who have made NCAA cuts will get to compete. So far, that list includes Sara Tillie and Maggie Dillion. Dillion has made cuts in the 100 and 200 butterfly, and Tillie in the 200 and 400 individual medley. This year, the championships are taking place at IUPUI, in Indianapolis on March 19.

These last few meets will be both a pain and a joy for the Spartans in the practice pool, as yardage will be ramping up one final bit for the dual meets, and then dropping off as they taper down to rest for their conference and championship meets. After that, it’s the sweet, sweet joy of offseason, where swimmers can pretend to have normal lives for a short while and be chlorine-free. Some may even get to take the summer off if they don’t participate in club swimming, but others might be going right into long course season, meaning a switch from 25 yard pools to 50 meter pools. Until then, good luck Spartans!