Swimmers make final push to conference

Adam Shay, Swim Reporter

After coming off a win against Evansville, the Eastern men’s and women’s swim teams will take on the Saint Louis Billikens Saturday.

As the season winds down, both the men and women will finish the season with winning records, regardless of their outcome against Saint Louis. Currently, the men’s team is 4-1 with one conference win, whereas the women’s team is 4-2 with no conference meets.

Coming off of victories last weekend in the 50-freestyle and 100-backstroke, senior Steve Fishman is coming closer to the end as a Panther swimmer. Despite winning those two events, Fishman continues to work hard during practice.

“(I have been) working on a lot of underwater stuff for backstroke and sprinting for 50-freestyle and back as well,” Fishman said.

During this week in practice, the swimmers have had a normal week of practicing, focusing on what events they specialize in, but some swimmers will be swimming in events they usually do not.

“I have been working on mostly backstroke and sprint freestyle this week in practice,” junior Lauren Oostman said. “But I found out (Thursday) morning I am just swimming freestyle which is different, but I am very excited.”

The Panthers are taking two different approaches to Saturdays meet, Fishman said. “Friday and Saturday is just a preparation for some, and for others, it’s just another meet to keep us in racing attitude,” he said.

This meet will give Panther swimmers a chance to work on their times, as well as switch up their normal meet routine.

“For me personally, these are going to be fun meets because I get to swim some off events, but also manage to keep my speed up,” Oostman said.

In last weekend’s meet, Oostman did not swim, making her more anxious for Saturday’s meet.

This year, the Panther swim teams have yet to go up against the Billikens.

The Billikens’ men’s and women’s swim team are both coming off victories at the Butler Invitational with the women’s team finishing first out of six and men first out of five.

Adam Shay can be reached at 581-2812 or acshay @eiu.edu