Seniors honored at King’s meet; men come away with win

Kendra Mancino January 31, 2013 0

As the Elizabethtown College Blue Jays swim teams neared the end of their regular season, they traveled to Chestertown, Md. to go head-to-head with the Washington College Shoremen Wednesday Jan. 23 at 6 p.m. In the Blue Jays’ penultimate meet of the season, the men battled to a 130-64 loss, and the women were also defeated in a 137-57 loss to Washington. With the loss, the Blue Jays drop to 2-9 overall and 2-6 in the Middle Atlantic Conference.
However, there were many highlights for both teams during their last home meet against King’s College. First-year Bonnie Lisk set a career best for the 100 backstroke and senior Jennifer Malik set a season best in the 100 breaststroke. Saturday, the Blue Jay women’s team celebrated Senior Night when seniors Chelsea Lorenz, Jennifer Malik, Gretchen Miller and Kelly Frace were honored at 1 p.m.
Although the women fell short against King’s 119-77, the men pulled out a 100-88 victory. Sophomore Frank Capria was victorious in the 500 free while senior Ryan Hannon set a season-best time in the 200 free. Also, junior Andrew Malik set season-best times in the 50 and 100. Junior Michael Rentschler beat his personal best by knocking an astounding six seconds off his previous best time in the 200 free. Although the men’s 400 relay team fell to King’s, the combo of Andrew Malik, Rentschler, Hannon and VanderWerff improved their season best time in the race by 5.9 seconds. The men’s team also celebrated several seniors on Saturday, including Nathaniel VanderWerff, Shaun Martin, Hannon and Chris Nelson.
Hannon explained his preparation for important meets, saying, “Before the meet, I have a playlist that I listen to while stretching.”
When asked how the team prepared for the Conference Championship, sophomore Tara Deisher said, “To prepare for championships, we focus a lot on technique so that we can get everything perfect for our final races. I am focusing on fixing the flaws in my strokes so they can be more efficient and help me drop as much time as possible.”
Hannon elaborated on his pre-meet preparation and said, “I stopped eating bad foods and started eating healthier. We also started tapering this week.” Tapering is when a team reduces exercise in the practices leading up to a big competition. In this case, it is the MAC Championship.
Athletes set goals for themselves and for their team. It is every student athlete’s goal to make it to the conference championship and eventually to the national championship. The Blue Jays are no exception. They have strived all season to be MAC Champs since the beginning of the season and have been preparing and practicing with this goal in mind. Deisher confirmed this notion, stating, “My team expectations for this meet are for everyone to try their hardest and improve their times so that, even if we don’t win the meet, we can have a better seed placement for MACs in our individual events.”
Deisher has high hopes for her team and for herself. These notions are what quality athletes are built upon. Every person, spectator or athlete, wants his or her team to improve. Whether two teams are going head-to-head or a swimmer is competing against their personal best time, preparation and having a set goal in mind are the keys to success.
Multiple gold medalist and Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps said it best, “You can’t put a limit on anything. The more you dream, the farther you get.” The Blue Jays have high hopes for each other and for themselves. As long as the team focuses on their goals, then anything can happen in the MAC Championships and beyond.

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