Swim team is ready for House of Champs

Adam Shay, Swim Reporter

The Eastern men’s and women’s swim teams have been training harder over the last two weeks since they have not had a meet.

Despite the two weeks of not swimming against other schools, the Panther swimmers have been practicing harder during the weeks. Specifically, the team has been swimming a lot more yards than normal.

“After our last meet, we kicked it up a notch because I knew we weren’t racing for awhile,” Coach Jacqueline Michalski said. “I really put a lot of yards on them and kicked up the intensity. We are kind of backing off a little and focusing on things that went wrong last meet.”

The House of Champions meet is different from individual meets against other schools. It is broken down into two parts: preliminaries in the morning which everyone has a chance to swim, and then the top 24 swimmers in each event compete later in the finals.

During their practices, the swimmers have been rotating all-out-sprint sets, more-challenging sets, and then swimming at a faster and more consistent pace. By doing this, it prepares them as if they were competing in a live meet.
Senior Steve Fishman agrees that leading up to this meet, while having a two weekend layoff; he has been treating practices as if he was in an actual meet. Fishman, regarding his own practice routine, has focused on a stroke set oriented on speed and technique.

“It’s a lot more intense with focus on speed, endurance, and technique,” Fishman said. “Harder practices are with less rest and more ‘putting our head down and doing the best we can’”

For Fishman, he isn’t treating House of Champions like any regular meet. Fishman said it does give him a stronger incentive to work hard during practice, as well as the whole team.
“We are going into the meet to post good time and hopefully season best,” Fishman said.  “We want to get good times so we get into the faster heats at conference so we can swim against other swimmers on our level and have better competition to push us to swim faster.”

For the women’s swim team, junior Lauren Oostman is prepared for House of Champions. Even before college, Oostman would swim multiple day meets and swim multiple times a day.

“Having double practices I think helps me get into the groove of being able to compete twice a day,” Oostman said. “I’ve been doing a lot more IM and sprint freestyle practices to train for my 200 IM and then my freestyle relay.” 

Oostman has also been practicing on her backstroke to prepare her for her IM relay. 

Once November is in full swing, Michalski said she believes it’s the hardest month for swimmers because House of Champions is a different kind of meet and on top of that, Thanksgiving break is around the corner and finals starts to sink in.

It is the meet Eastern uses to help it prepare for the Summit League Championships at the end of the season.

Adam Shay can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]