by Alex Pijanowski | Staff Writer
Kenyon men’s swimming and diving returned to action at home this past weekend for the first time since the beginning of the new semester. At the end of competition in the Kenyon Winter Invitational, the Lords placed third out of five teams — behind The Ohio State University and Oakland University, and ahead of the University of Cincinnati and Ashland University.
“I like it when we swim [Division-I] schools, because it’s kind of fun to compare ourselves to them,” Austin Caldwell ’15 said. “I get a little more excited, I think.”
Standout performances included two individual swims by Trevor Manz ’17. Manz placed fifth in the 200-yard individual medley and sixth in the 400-yard individual medley. For his efforts in the water, Manz earned the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) Swimmer of the Week honors.
“That award could have gone to a lot of the people on the team this last week, Manz said. “There were a lot of hard swims and a lot of consistent swims on the team, and I feel fortunate to have won this week.”
Caldwell also dominated in the pool, churning out a second-place finish in the 50-yard freestyle and a sixth-place finish in the 100-yard freestyle. Joey Duronio ’16 came in behind Caldwell in the same race, placing seventh. Andrew Chevalier ’14 was stellar in the 400 individual medley, placing fifth. The 200-yard medley relay team of Kevin Magee ’15, Manz, Ryan Funk ’16 and Caldwell finished in fifth place.
In diving, Derek Hoare ’17 put together a breakout performance by scoring second in the three meter; his combined score of 231.25 was only 6.25 points behind the diving champion, Oakland’s Jimmy McMahon.
Head Coach Jess Book ’01 said that the remainder of the season will be devoted primarily to preparing for competition in the conference and national championship meets. Coaches will begin to gradually reduce the amount of yardage and intensity per practice as they design the team’s training schedule — a method known as tapering.
The central assumption behind a “taper” is to provide athletes with more rest and energy for their races. In order to maximize the effectiveness of this strategy, Book designs several different taper programs for swimmers with different racing specialties, an approach which can often pose difficulties.
“One of our great strengths is also one of our great challenges, and that is that we try to individualize a lot of what we do,” Book said.
The Lords have this weekend off, before facing Ohio Wesleyan University on Jan. 31 and Wittenberg University on Feb. 1, both at home. The meets are the Lords’ final regular season competition before the conference championships in February and the national championships in March.
“We have one more weekend of meets, and I think it’s the same schedule as last weekend — Friday night and Saturday morning — which kind of mocks the championship meet,” Caldwell said.