Swim teams feeling confident moving forward

Sean Hastings, Sports Editor

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Freshman Martee Grainger took second place when she swam the 500 freestyle event during the swim meet against Indiana University-Purdue Universtiy Indianapolis. Grainger was part of the team that took first place in teh 400 yard freestyle relay, and took second in the 100 yeard freestyle with a time of 56.34 seconds Saturday against Valpraiso.

Mackenzie Freund
Freshman Martee Grainger took second place when she swam the 500 freestyle event during the swim meet against Indiana University-Purdue Universtiy Indianapolis. Grainger was part of the team that took first place in teh 400 yard freestyle relay, and took second in the 100 yeard freestyle with a time of 56.34 seconds Saturday against Valpraiso.

The Eastern men’s and women’s swim teams may not have the record to show it but both teams have been posting times that have them feeling confident for the rest of the season.

The men and women both got wins over the weekend defeating Valparaiso by wide margins. The men won by a score of 120-85 and the women won 125-69.

One swimmer who has been the first to touch the wall more than once is senior Kelsey Ferguson.

“Getting first place finishes really boosts my confidence especially going into House of Champs,” Ferguson said. “I feel confident in where I am at with my training right now.”

Ferguson has had four first place finishes this season. She has placed first in the 200-yard breaststroke, the 400-yard individual medley, 200-yard individual medley and was apart of the winning relay team for the 400-yard medley relay.

Ferguson is in her last year at Eastern and said she just wants to have fun every time she is in the water.

“I think having fun racing has really helped me be successful this year,” Ferguson said. “It’s my last year as a swimmer and I really just want to have fun and give it my all every time I race.”

You can go up and down the list of the final stat sheet for a meet and find an Eastern swimmer’s name towards the top every time.

Freshman Martee Grainger has competed in many events for the women’s team and has also found herself towards the front a few times as well.

Grainger, freshman Lauren Oostman, sophomore Dani DiMatteo and senior Kaylee Morris got a first place finish in the 400-yard freestyle relay on Saturday against Valparaiso with a time of 3:13.26.

She also had a second place finish in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 56.34 against Valparaiso. Morris took first place in the race with a time of 53.54 seconds.

Grainger said her confidence level is high as well because the team and including herself are hitting amazing times early in the season.

“We’re all working hard and are tired yet can still swim and perform well,” Grainger said. “I can’t wait to see what happens as the season goes on.

If you go to a meet, you will notice that everyone on the team is constantly cheering on their teammates as the swim their event.

“We have an amazing team chemistry and it makes it really easy to swim your best when you have a wonderful team cheering you on the whole way,” Grainger said.

The men got their first win of the season on Saturday against Valparaiso after having seven first place finishes out of 11 total events for the men.

From relay teams to individual events, sophomore Steve Fishman kept finding his name in the first place column on Saturday.

Fishman started his night by winning the men’s 400-yard medley relay with sophomore Brandon Robbins, sophomore Stephen Truchon and freshman Jennings-Soccorso-McCoy with a time of 3:34.68.

He also won the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 1:55.41, nine seconds in front of Valparaiso’s swimmer.

Fishman is coming off a back injury and said he and the rest of the Panthers are training tirelessly and is confident that once he full recovers and the team gets a rest, they can really show what they can do at the conference meet in February.

He added that strength coach Nicole Brown and athletic trainer Zac Hill have helped him make his comeback from injury.

“I’m excited to see what places we can get at the upcoming House of Champs and how much time we can drop at the end of the season from the times we made at the beginning,” Fishman said.

Freshman Alex Laleian on the men’s team has also had a first place finish on Saturday in the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 2:01.39. He also finished in first in the same event at Evansville.

Laleian said he had a rough start to the season but feels better in the later part of the first half of the season.

He added that the Panthers have more depth in diversity so they can fill more events.

The Panthers will be at the House of Champions at IUPUI Nov. 20-22.

 

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