When the first meet of the season occurred Oct. 21 against Youngstown State, there were four months before the biggest meet of the season.
Now, there is only a month — three dual meets — to prepare for the Mid-American Conference Championships.
With Jan. 13's meet canceled due to snow, the first meet of 2018 will be Jan. 20 at Akron. The Zips are the undisputed top team in the MAC with four straight conference championships, and will give the Bobcats an idea of where they are compared to the top teams.
Ohio came close to beating the No. 2 team in the coaches’ preseason poll, Buffalo. That meet came down to the final relay race.
Being the first meet of the year for the swimmers, the changes made over the break will be able to be seen in races against other teams and then evaluated in preparation for the MAC Championships.
There will be less than a 24-hour gap in between the final two dual meets of the season for Ohio on Jan. 26-27. The meet will test the Bobcats with conditions similar to the MAC Championships where it is four straight days of races.
The meets will not only be close together but will be very competitive as Ohio and Marshall have split the past four dual meets against each other with each team winning the meets it hosted.
Another MAC team comes to Athens Jan. 27, as Ohio will celebrate its Senior Day. There is not much separation between Ohio and Bowling Green. Ten points was the difference at the 2017 MAC Championships and the teams were picked fifth and sixth, respectively, in the coaches’ preseason poll.
After the dual meets are over it there will be a break from meets for the team to get in peak performance for the MAC Championships.