Swimming teams host Evansville at Padovan Pool

Tyler McCluskey, Swim Reporter

After a week off from competition, the men and women’s swimming teams host Evansville Friday.

The men’s team lost 188-99 while the women lost 164-114. Eastern coach Jacqueline Michalski said that she started scouting and planned for this meet by looking at the times and seeing where the strengths and weaknesses are of the Purple Aces. Michalski thinks that the Panthers strengths are showing so far this season.

“Our strength this year is the breaststroke. Matt (Jacobs) and Brandon (Robbins) really put us in a good position,” Michalski said. “They’re going to give us a solid one-two finish against most of the schools we go against.”

Michalski also said that another strength of the team is the 200-free.

“When you put Nick (Harkins) and Jennings (Soccorso-McCoy) and Brandon in it, those are our top three guys and that’s a really competitive event for us,” he said.

Robbins, a junior, said that one of the goals for this meet is to come away with a victory.

“Last week, we kind of knew that we would come out with a win. This week it’s a lot closer, a lot harder to tell who is going to win,” Robbins said.

Sophomore Jason Manning said that he would look more at the personal side of things.

“Just personally, keeping my stroke looking good, not falling apart, staying strong,” Manning said.

Both Manning and Robbins emphasized how important technique is for this meet and for swimmers.

“I’d say it’s like 90 percent of what we do,” Manning said. “If you don’t have good technique, then you’re going to lose a race.”

Manning said that because he swims distance, keeping his stroke together is important because everything counts. Robbins added that the longer the distance, the more technique comes into play.

“If it’s a 50-yard sprint, then it’s a lot less about technique and more about power and speed,” Robbins said.

This meet comes a week before one that the Eastern has had circled on its calendar. The House of Champions is the meet where the goals are to have the best in-season times and that annual meet takes place Nov. 18-20.

Robbins said that getting more rest gets him in the mindset of going faster. Manning said that he uses House of Champions as a mid-season benchmark for conference at the end of the year.

Michalski said that Evansville is a back-half team. Meaning that the team will sit at a certain pace and pick it up near the end.

“We’ve been in practice trying to make sure this week, kind of last week, and even most of the semester we’re doing a lot of back-halfing,” Michalski said. “We descending a lot, making sure each round gets faster as things go. We should be pretty prepared to hold on.”

The Panthers take on Evansville at the Padovan Pool on Friday at 6 p.m.

Tyler McCluskey can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]