The Hillsdale College Chargers will host Davenport University on Saturday for their first official meet of the season.
This 16-event meet is the longest dual meet format and gives each of the swimmers the opportunity to participate in four events. Head coach Kurt Kirner said that since it’s a long meet and the girls have not yet raced against outside competition this season, he will focus mostly on the effort the girls put in.
“We aren’t looking as much at times as we are looking at effort,” Kirner said. “We challenge the swimmers to give every bit of effort in each of their performances in this meet.”
Junior Emma Rao said the first meet of the year is a good way to show off the work that the team has put in over the past month.
“The first meet of the year is always fun, there’s good team energy and it’s nice to see what all the freshmen can do,” Rao said.
Freshman Madison Pyhel said that after over 5 weeks of training, she feels adjusted to the team and is excited to start competing against outside teams.
“I haven’t had a chance to go against other teams in college yet, so I’m looking forward to that” Pyhel said.
Davenport is a fairly new team, this is only their second year competing in Division II of the NCAA, but Kirner said the team has some strong swimmers. The team also has three divers and the Chargers have none, so the Chargers will automatically enter the meet 32 points behind.
Kirner, however, said he is not worried about their disadvantage.
“In the past 12 years, we’ve been able to compensate for the lack of divers and still come out with a winning record through some strong swimming performances,” Kirner said.
Rao also said she feels very prepared for the meet.
“We do so much racing in practice that by the time the first meet comes around we’re ready to go,” Rao said.