Focusing on resting, the swimming and diving team are beginning their preparation for Summit League Championships.
This year the Coyotes will be hosting them at the new Midco Aquatic Center in Sioux Falls, Feb. 14-17. Swimmers and divers have been “phasing out weights” and resting their bodies for the conference championships, according to Head coach Jason Mahowald.
“I think they’re all ready to rest, like they know it’s coming,” said Mahowald. “I think their preparation has been great at this point.”
For the diving team, the workouts don’t taper down as much. Instead, they focus on technique and perfecting their dives.
“We try and focus on how good the dives are rather than just doing a lot of them,” sophomore Isaac Morris said.
Morris said it’s important to stay relaxed while diving.
“If I’m stressed out I get tense and it doesn’t go well,” Morris said. “If I’m relaxed, I’ll be fine and I can ride the board and jump high.”
Some swimmers have their own personal way of preparing for the competition. Senior Eric Erlenmeyer said he distances himself to clear his mind before swimming.
“I always like to stay separate and keep to myself before a race; focus on what I’m about to do,” Erlenmeyer said. “Sometimes spending time with other people before a race can stress you out. I’ve found it easier to keep to yourself before a race.”
Sophmore swimmer Sabrina Sabadeanu said she concentrates on supplying her body with the energy it will need for championships.
“I make sure I eat really clean, I push and try to get more of 8 hours of sleep, and just really making sure I stay hydrated and stretch a lot,” Sabadeanu said.
As a freshman, Sabadeanu said she struggled with being an athlete and a student, but made changes this season to prevent that.
“I started to not eat well and I gained a lot of weight, and I had like no sleep…and that doesn’t help with training,” Sabadeanu said. “I feel like this season has been different by taking care of myself more.”
Mahowald said he feels confident about how the teams will place at the championships.
“If you’ve looked at how we’ve swam at our midseason meet in December, when we rested the kids, we swam really fast. Our relay times sit top of the conference behind Denver right now,” Mahowald said.
This year Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) will not be in the conference, which leaves “a lot of points that are up for grabs,” Mahowald said.
“It’s kind of hard to tell how the meet’s gonna shake out when you take a team like that out of the mix,” Mahowald said.
Last year the women’s team placed third, just two points behind IUPUI in the conference championships.
“I think our depth is going to be kind of the key at the championships; I think you’re going to see a lot of different girls scoring a lot of different events,” Mahowald said.
The men’s team placed fourth behind SDSU, but this year they hope to beat them.
Erlenmeyer said the talent between USD and SDSU is very close this year.
“We’ve never beaten State at conference and I think we can do it this year,” Erlenmeyer said.
“Beat state-that’s a big team goal,” Sabadeanu said.
Another team goal is to swim best personal times. Sabadeanu’s goals don’t stop at doing well at conferences.
“Going into conferences I plan on making NCAAs and hopefully going to Indianapolis to compete in NCAAs in March is a huge goal.”