Eastern swim teams set to host Valparaiso

Sean Hastings, Sports Editor

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Sophomore butterfly and backstroke swimmer Niki Beringer signals what lap her teammate is on while swimming the Women's 1000 yard freestyle event in the meet against Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis on Oct. 17 at the Ray Padovan Pool.

Mackenzie Freund
Sophomore butterfly and backstroke swimmer Niki Beringer signals what lap her teammate is on while swimming the Women’s 1000 yard freestyle event in the meet against Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis on Oct. 17 at the Ray Padovan Pool.

After posting multiple in season best times last weekend at Evansville, the Eastern men’s and women’s swim teams will have another chance to improve this weekend when they host Valparaiso Saturday.

The men and women both split the season series last year with Valpo in what were all very close meets. The women won the first meeting of the year by a score of 162-95 but lost the final meeting 147-115. The men also won the first meeting between the schools 137-122 and lost the second 140.5-121.5.

“I think it’s going to be another close one,” coach Jacqueline Michalski said. “It’s going to come down to just putting your hand on the wall first.”

Michalski said the team is excited to get back in its own pool after spending last weekend at Evansville.

“Home meets are always the most exciting for us,” Michalski said. “We pack our stands, we have a lot of support, friends and family come, a lot student athletes will come and we have some professors that come. It’s usually a pretty loud, big l atmosphere. It’s always fun to come back home.”

The Panthers swam against Valpo early in the season last year as well, and they are posting better times this year and Michalski hopes that it carries over to this meet as they have extra confidence.

Valpo and Eastern both post similar times in the races that they swim, but the Panthers are stronger in the 200’s of stroke which they will be swimming this weekend according to Michalski.

They will also be swimming the 400-yard individual medley, an event the Panthers have only swam once.

“That’s a strong event for us also,” Michalski said. “So it should be a pretty good meet because we’re pretty good when it comes to endurance things.”

Early in the season the men and the women both swim in events that may not be their strongest event to hopefully give the Panthers an edge in the close races.

Michalski said that they did the same last weekend and will plan to put the swimmers in races that they are good at, but may not be the strongest. They are just looking to get whatever edge they can in the close races.

“We do that because we might have a whole in an event or we might have something else,” Michalski said. “We just kind of need to explore different options.”

The Panthers spend the first semester figuring out what they are good at so they can see where they are at in the second semester so they can better prepare for conference.

Eastern has 12 freshman swimmers in the program and Michalski is happy with how they have been performing early on.

The meet will start at 5 p.m. on Saturday in Padovan Pool.

 

Sean Hastings can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]