Extending their dual-meet streak to 17-straight wins, the Miami University women’s swimming and diving team opened up the 2007-08 season beating the Marshall Thundering Herd Saturday, 166-91.
The girls had a very difficult week of training leading up to the first competitive dual meet, said Head Coach Dave Jennings. The young team, which is trying to establish more of a fitness level in their program, prepared with a great deal of cross training and tried to build on their swimming.
“We have practice everyday in the afternoon for two and a half hours, and we also have practice in the mornings four times a week; we either run, swim or do stadium stairs,” said Katherine Reinmann, a Miami first-year. “Our ultimate goal is to win the Mid-American Conference. Last year (we) had a perfect season but (we) didn’t really deliver. We’re hoping that this year we can really deliver and get the championship.”
Even with most of the girls swimming longer races than they were accustomed to, the RedHawks didn’t show any signs of fatigue. According to Reinmann, the girls recently practiced long course races prior to the meet, but would be changing back to short course (25 yards), the standard for all of their upcoming meets this season. Despite the length difference, the Red and White conquered the waters by making this its 17th consecutive win in duel meet competition.
“I thought the women did a very nice job,” Jennings said. “We had a very tough week of training, and this is very early for us to have a competitive duel meet. We’re able to come in and I think race really well. I was very pleased. We had a very good start.”
The RedHawks got out to a very fast start in the young season, winning nine of the 14 events on the afternoon.
To start out the meet Miami finished first and second in the 400 medley relay, with the Miami “A” team finishing with a 4:29:54 time. Miami continued rolling in the very next event, the 800 freestyle, as Miami first-year Sarah Bullock finished first with a 9:31:81 time, earning Miami nine points in the event.
The winning streak continued as the ‘Hawks took first in the next five events.
Junior Allison Stevens had a winning time of 2:11:75 in the 200 freestyle; coming in second was Miami’s Carly Gibson.
It seemed as Miami couldn’t be stopped, as once again the RedHawks went one-two in the 100 backstroke. Junior Tenley Marsteller came in first recording a time of 1:10:58, and junior Jennifer Nemeth in second, to keep the RedHawks swimming on top.
Victories continued for the RedHawks with the 100 breaststroke, with sophomore Karen Frazier posting a winning time of 1:13:97 and Megan Brunn touching the wall second.
Miami continued to place one-two in the 200 butterfly; senior Kathryn Stephens clocked in at 2:25:06 to win the event, while freshman Taylor Koplow finished second with a time of 2:25:72.
The RedHawks dominated the 50 freestyle, taking the top three positions in the race, with first place going to junior Alyson Schmidt who clocked in with a time of 28:31. Sophomore Jenna Long and senior Kristen Bezier finished second and third respectively, putting the Red and White further ahead of the Thundering Herd.
The Thundering Herd finally got their heads above water, ending Miami’s streak of first place finishes taking four of the last five events.
Even with the lack of wins toward the end of the meet, Jennings was happy with his team’s performance.
“I was very pleased,” Jennings said. “We had a very good start.”
The RedHawks will next take to the waters Oct. 26 when they travel to the University of Louisville to take on the Cardinals.
“We have got a young team,” Jennings said. “We have some good leadership on the front end, and we have a lot of enthusiasm. I think it’s going to be a real interesting year, and I’m looking forward to it. This is a very nice group to work with.”