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Men’s and Women’s Swimming head to MWC Meet shaved

The Grinnell Men and Women’s swim teams are heading into the Midwest Conference (MWC) Tournament this weekend at Lawrence College in Appleton, WI to defend their titles as Conference champs.

The Mad Ducks and Dawgs prepared for the meet, in part, by tapering, a training technique used in track and swimming.

“Over a period of two to three weeks, the total yardage will come down and intensity comes down, so it’s allowing their bodies to re-energized and recharge, building up their glycogen stores. So hopefully by the time they get to conference they’re completely rested and ready to go,” said Head Coach Erin Hurley.

From left to right, Sam Sherwood ’12, Kelly Bruce ’12, Joe Sinwell ’12 and Max Fulgoni ’12 enjoy their final King of Hearts dinner in the Dinning Hall. Contributed

The technique yields a visible effect on the swimmers.

“You may notice that we get a little bit crazier, a little more energy, a little bubblier, [during taper] because our bodies are starting to recover after 6 months of wear and tear,” said Team Captain Morgan Bober ’12.

The Women’s team is building momentum as the season nears its end. Claire Williams ’13 just set an American record for the 1000 freestyle in her division of the Paralympics with a time of 11:57.25 and Team Captain Kelly Bruce ’12 just broke the school record in the one-meter diving by 1.9 points with a score of 277.50.

“Many people have been swimming really well and feeling really great, and that’s absolutely the kind of attitude you have to have going into this. It sets a certain tone, just really amps people up, and really gets them going,” Bober said.

The Mad Ducks have high hopes for Bruce going into the MWC conference tournament.

“What I hope for [Kelly] is that her best meet is yet to come. That’s a great way to go out as a senior. She put in all the hard work. Hopefully her scores and her video tape will get her to Nationals and beyond conference,” said Coach Hurley.

“As a senior, I really just want to do everything to the best of my abilities, go out with a bang, and see what I can do,” said Bruce.

The women’s team is going into the tournament with a focus on performing their best on an individual level.

“We’ve tried to put our focus less on winning conference and more on swimming really well individually, so we’ve sort of set ourselves a goal of trying to get 100 percent personal best times,” Bober said. “That being said, we obviously really want to win and are going to do everything we can to do so, but it’s a sport, you know, it doesn’t always go the way you want it to.”

The men’s team also has a positive attitude going into the conference tournament. Last year, Michael Brus ’14 finished fourth at the NCAA Division III National Championships in the 200 backstroke and Coach Hurley and the Team Captains have high expectations for him again this year.

“We’re shooting for those automatic cuts for him to get him back to Nationals and do big things there,” said Coach Hurley.

“He’s so great; his attitude’s the best. He never talks about himself, he always talks about the team first which is great for one of your best swimmers to do, put the team first. But even then, he’ll succeed in the water this weekend, and probably go to nationals again,” said Team Captain Joe Sinnwell ’12.

The Mad Dawgs are aiming to send a men’s relay to nationals this year.

“They only pick 16 relays in the country to go. So I think our best probability would be the 800 freestyle relay and the people looking to be on that are Michael Brus [’14], Tom Lankiewicz [’12], Joe Lytle [’14], and Ethan Drutchas [’12]. I think if they go 6 minutes 50 seconds, which is about 7 seconds faster than they did last year, they could do it, but it’s going to be tough,” Hurley said.

“We’re pretty comfortable that we can get a B-cut, and hopefully send that relay [to Nationals],” Sinnwell said.

The men’s team is on a conference tournament-winning streak of 10 years, Sinnwell thinks the men have what it takes to win conference again this year.

“We’re one of the only teams that can fill out the whole roster of 18 swimmers who score and the seven who swim for exhibition. The exhibition team is going to try to out-score an entire team somewhere else in the conference, so hopefully we can raise the level of competition in the conference by dominating this year,” Sinnwell said.

Both the men and women’s teams will swim this Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 17-19 in the Midwest Conference Tournament at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin.

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