Swimmers prepare for conference meet

After a three-week period of training and rest, the Gannon University swimming and diving teams will be back in action during the grueling, four-day long Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference meet that will take place Feb. 16-19 in Mechanicsburg, Pa.

Coach Nathan Walters said the season has been a good one so far, and hopes the teams’ hard work will pay off in the final meet of the season.

“We’ve worked extremely hard,” he said. “I feel like we’re carrying the strength and speed that we need into the conference meet. It’s been a long progression, but we’re ready to go.”

Although the team hasn’t swum in a meet in nearly three weeks, Walters said the schedule is set up this way for a reason.

“We’re essentially resting,” he said. “We go through a three-week taper period so that we’re primed and ready for this weekend. These three weeks have been necessary to fully get our bodies rested and ready for what they’re going to go through.”

The Knights have counted on a group of talented underclassmen to fill out the lineups this season. Freshmen standouts Michelle Fischl, Katie Joseph, Adam Chrzanowski and Nick Wolhaupter have consistently posted PSAC qualifying times for Gannon. Walters said he thinks that they will continue to perform for Gannon in the conference meet, though they will probably face some nerves as well.

“They understand that youth is important in our sport,” he said. “In the water, they’re individuals. It’s their talents that lead them the entire way. With the meets we’ve had, there’s no question in my mind they’ll be ready for what they need to do.”

The meet, which Walters said will be a close-fought battle for second through sixth places, will be a defining moment of the season, and while he said the Knights have a chance of coming out in second, which has never happened in the history of the program, other teams have the same chance.

“We all have our dual-meet season, but the conference championship is what determines it all,” he said. “It’s a winner take all kind of situation.”

CHRISTINE PEFFER

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