The Hillsdale College Chargers split their last regular meet of the season last Saturday, winning against Ohio Northern 215 – 40 and losing to Case Western 169.5 – 92.5 in the Cleveland tri-meet.
The Chargers finished the regular season with a 12 – 3 dual meet record, which Head Coach Kurt Kirner said is the best record he has seen in his 10 years coaching Hillsdale’s team.
“We have a good mix of talent and depth this year,” Kirner said. “It is the best I’ve had in quite a few years.
The general opinion among the swimmers and coaches was that the Chargers put up good times considering their fatigue.
“I was genuinely surprised by my times,” freshman Leah Tunney, who took first in both the 1000 freestyle and 200 backstroke and second in the 100 backstroke, said. “Everyone was pulling really good times considering we were all tired.”
“I didn’t get great times, but we are really sore and tired right now, so I think we did pretty well for being in that state,” sophomore Taylor Boyle, who took second place in the 100 breaststroke, said.
“They were tired, but it was a healthy tired,” Kirner said. “I look for consistency. If they’re consistent, we know that they’re a lot more prone to be at their best in two weeks.”
This week the Chargers have begun “tapering,” which means they steadily decrease their amount of swimming each day in order to rest before the conference finals start on February 12.
“We try to decrease the volume of swimming but increase the amount of racing we do,” Kirner said. “Not tiring the athletes out, but readying their system to swim lifetime best times at the conference finals.”
None of the three teams the Chargers lost to this season are in their conference, the Great Midwest Athletic Conference, so the Chargers have won against all the teams they will face in the conference finals.
“Everyone has a really positive mindset going into the finals,” Tunney said. “We’ve proved ourselves throughout the season.”