With the season coming to an end, the Albion College swim and dive team looks to finish strong.
Jake Taber came to Albion from Olivet to take over the head-coaching job following the retirement of Keith Havens. Havens coached the Britons for the past after 27 years before Taber took over.
Prior to arriving at Albion, Taber coached at Olivet for five seasons. Twelve of his swimmers won individual MIAA championships and two team championships.
“[Coach Taber] is a really professional coach and he knows exactly what he’s doing,” said Josh Boren, Dexter first year. “I think that [the men’s swim team] winning for the first time in three years shows that he’s starting to turn the program around.”
In their final meet before the MIAA championships, the Albion College men’s swimming and diving team defeated Calvin College 141-134. The Brits had a strong showing all around and won the event with sheer will and determination. Brad Melpolder, Hamilton junior, Brian Fiorillo, Southgate junior, Boren and Austin Bateman, Royal Oak senior, who won the 200-meter freestyle relay.
The 200-meter freestyle relay had enough to win with a time of 1:26.6.
Fiorillo is a transfer student that swam under coach Taber at Olivet. He is currently the eighth ranked swimmer in the country at the division three level. He has set the school record for the 50-meter and the 100-meter freestyle sprint events.
The junior transfer played a large role in the men’s win against Calvin.
“Calvin is a great swim team, and they switched up their line ups and we switched up our line ups because we didn’t want to overwork anyone before championships,” said Mary Ann Egnatuk, assistant head coach. “What happened was at the end [of the meet] we realized that we were really close to Calvin, and we raced exceedingly well.”
For the women’s team, Albion has had strong seasons from a number of talented athletes. As a whole they have broke four school records this season alone.
Julie Okorn, West Bloomfield junior, and Anna Hargrove, Milan first-year, did not waste any time making an impact for the Britons. Okorn, a transfer student from Williams College and Hargrove have broken a combined four individual school records, four of them belonging to Hargrove.
They also competed in the 800-meter freestyle relay that broke a school record.
“Julie and Anna have been great for us all season,” said Megan Heyn, Saginaw senior. “Everyone stands out in their own way, and for them to be so competitive and successful for us is great for the team.”
The familial relationship that the members of the Albion College swim and dive team share for one another is indicative of their successes this season as well as their successes to come.
“We’re all extremely close and not just the girls team, but the guys as well,” Heyn said. “Obviously, some athletes are going to be better than others, but you really can’t tell with bond we share with one another.”
The Albion College swim and dive team competes in the MIAA championships tonight at six p.m.
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