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Ohio hosted the Toledo Rockets at the Ohio University aquatic center on Jan. 28, 2017 for their final home meet of the season.

Swim and Dive: Underclassmen shine during season, future looks bright

A bright future may be in store for Ohio after ending its streak of three straight sixth-place finishes at the Mid-American Championships.

Ohio placed fifth, as the younger swimmers scored most of the points. Those younger swimmers led the team throughout the whole season as well.

“As our highest finish in three years, and as much as we're not necessarily satisfied with that, I think it’s definitely a step in the right direction and I’m pleased with our overall performance,” Coach Rachel Komisarz-Baugh said.

The underclassmen were very good at the MAC Championships, and needed to be, as the seniors picked up very few points. Only Carrie Dukes finished in the top-16 of an event. The senior class had only seen sixth-place finishes and they were glad to see the streak end, Dukes said.

“Me being a senior, I would’ve liked to contribute a lot more to the team than what I did,” Dukes said. “I feel like other seniors were the same way and even some of the juniors because a lot of the freshman, sophomores were the ones that scored us big points.”

Corrin Van Lanen, Mikayla Herich and Emily Zimcosky were the top Bobcat performers at the MAC Championships and throughout the season.

Those three were not the only ones winning, as the underclassmen combined for 47 first-place finishes throughout the whole season. The underclassmen not only were winning, but setting personal bests every weekend. Twenty-two of their times are now in the Ohio record book.

“Our underclassmen stepped up a lot and I think it just kind of shows we’ve got a very young team and we’ve still got a lot of progress we can make, but I think we’re on the right track,” Komisarz-Baugh said.

The fall was a struggle for Ohio, as they lost all dual meets and had 13 swimmers and divers who had to get used to competing at the college-level. While most students went home in December, Ohio stayed for two weeks to train and saw improvements in faster times during dual meets in January.

Ohio won all three of its dual meets in January and had someone finish in first in all but four races after winning one of four dual meets in the fall.

The future looks bright for Ohio, as only four swimmers graduate and 20 have at least two years left in the program. Additionally, two new coaches were brought in before the season and are developing relationships with everyone.

“I am always somebody that is going to want more, we could’ve won and I’m still going to want more,” Komisarz-Baugh said.


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