The women’s swimming and diving team defeated Olivet College 164-125 during a dual meet at home in the Dean Aquatic Center Jan. 30. Rachel Restum, East Lansing sophomore, led the charge after winning the 200, 500 and 1,000-meter freestyle races to give the Lady Brits a victory over the Comets in their final meet of the regular season.
“We had a few close meets in the beginning that would have been nice to win, but the team as a whole swam very well this year,” said Keith Havens, head coach of the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams.
The team opened its season with losses to Hope, Calvin and Kalamazoo Colleges but then finished strongly, winning two of its last three meets and tying with St. Mary’s College in the other, giving the team an overall record of 2-3-1.
“We’ve really started to come together this year and are performing better than any year in the past,” said Ashley Collins, Saginaw junior, and co-captain of the swim team.
With the MIAA conference championship Feb. 11-13, Collins is happy to see the swimming team performing at the top of its game at the end of the season.
“I think that we are really going to surprise ourselves, as well as some of the other teams in the MIAA,” Collins said. “We have been training really hard this season, and I think it is all going to pay off in how well we swim at the conference championship.”
Elyse Lee, men’s and women’s diving coach, is also pleased with the women’s diving team’s performance at the end of the season and is eager to see how it will compete against the conference as a whole.
“The girls have really worked hard this season,” Lee said. “We’ve had a hard month of winter training, and we are ready to compete at our highest level.”
Because diving is centered around and scored on the perfection of each movement, Lee has worked hard to improve every aspect of the athletes’ performances. As the team heads into the conference championships, Lee’s main focus, however, has been to ensure that the team is mentally prepared for the pressure of the competitive environment.
“When you get (to the MIAA conference championship), you really have to rely on your fundamentals and remember you have 11 dives, so one bad dive will not make or break you,” Lee said.
Since none of the dual meets count towards the conference rankings, the team’s performance during the championship will determine where they place for the season. Havens is confident, however, that his team will perform up to his expectations.
“We are in a tough conference, but this team competes as hard as any team that I have coached in the past,” Havens said.