The first invitational of the season for Ohio will occur Nov. 17-19 in Evanston, Ill. at the TYR Invite, with Northwestern as the host.
There are many differences in the dual-meets Ohio has exclusively competed in up to this point, but the most important of this meet will be that it will occur over three days. That allows everyone to swim only one or two races a day so there is no holding back.
“You have one race a day basically so you're definitely going to try to give it everything you got for that one race," freshman Hannah Schlegel said. It is expected that everyone will be putting up faster times than they did in dual-meets with the additional rest and adrenaline the meet has.
In addition to being the first overnight trip of the season, the team will be pulling out “tech suits” that are reserved for big meets where everyone is trying to get any advantage to put up the best possible times.
There will be plenty of new opponents for Ohio to race against at the TYR Invite: Northwestern, Grand Canyon University, St. Louis University, Truman State, Michigan State, Fresno State, Illinois State and University of Illinois-Chicago.
With so many competitors, there will be multiple heats for each event. Therefore, everyone will be seeded with others that are just as fast as them. In dual-meets, there was a huge difference in times because there is only one race for each event but likely will not in these events.
“How do you react to having somebody next to you during the whole race and can you pull ahead or what's going to happen,” head coach Rachel Komisarz-Baugh said.
For the coaches, the invite will be a good opportunity to learn about how everyone swims, so when the Mid-American Conference Championships come around, the coaching staff knows when each one needs to swim their fastest.
“I take a mid-season invite more of an opportunity to learn what they need individually so I think it’s a good data collection for me,” Komisarz-Baugh said.
This meet will also be the final time for any member to qualify for the U.S. Winter Nationals in Columbus from Nov. 29- Dec. 2.
“I always tell them 'get that adrenaline pushing cause that gives you your super-human strength so it’s just channel that super-human strength,” Komisarz-Baugh said.