This past weekend, while most stu­dents were on fall break, the women’s swim team trav­elled to Northern Michigan Uni­versity for a two-day com­pe­tition against the Wildcats. The Chargers lost the relay meet on Friday 190 – 168 and the normal meet on Sat­urday 170 – 101.

Several swimmers said numerous factors con­tributed to the results. This was the first com­pe­tition (excluding the Blue vs. White intrasquad meet) for the Chargers this season, so nerves played a factor. Also, the girls had to travel eight and a half hours by bus north, which fatigued them men­tally as well as phys­i­cally prior to com­peting. The Chargers have also recently increased their training volume, which means the girls are putting in more yardage in the pool on a daily basis than they are used to. Though it will fatigue the girls in the short-term, this increased amount of training is sup­posed to pay off at the end of the season once the girls rest and prepare for GLIACs.

The Wildcats of NMU also put on a show. They did better this past weekend than they did even at the end of last year. Swimmers usually do their best at the end of the season after a few weeks of rest, which really puts NMU’s stellar per­for­mance in per­spective.

There was some pos­itive points of the meet for the Chargers. Freshman Carson Burt thinks that the Chargers “did pretty well con­sid­ering we drove eight and a half hours.”

Hillsdale placed second, third, and fourth in the 100-yard back­stroke as well as the 200-yard freestyle. The Chargers also placed second and third in the 200-yard but­terfly. A few notable indi­viduals also per­formed well. Promising freshman Sarah Rinaldi won the 200-IM and placed second in the 100-yard back­stroke. Sophomore Rachel Kurtz, the school record-holder in two sprint freestyle events, took first place in the 50-yard freestyle race. Catherine Shilka took first place in the 100-yard but­terfly, which Coach Kurt Kirner was par­tic­u­larly impressed by.

Coach Kirner plans on fol­lowing the same training phi­losophy, though he says he may tweak the girls’ indi­vidual training. The Chargers will now practice sep­a­rately in the morning, with dif­ferent groups doing dif­ferent workouts. Dual meets like this one, according to Kirner, “are rel­a­tively unim­portant.” He stresses that with con­tinual hard work and con­sistent training the girls will be ready for when it really counts: at the end of the season. Meets like the Calvin Invite and the GLIAC Con­ference Cham­pi­onships will be the true tests for the girls.