New Intensity Benefits Team

Highlander Staff Reports

Swim team members are embracing new head coach Matt VanDerMeid as they prepare for the 2012-2013 season.

Junior Doug Ranson said the team was hesitant at first because they didn’t know what to expect from VanDerMeid after working with previous coach Jason Morini.

“As the weeks have gone on it becomes more apparent that he knows what he’s doing,” Ranson said.

VanDerMeid looks forward to working with the men’s and women’s teams this season and said he has something new to offer as a coach. He wants to work with the team on yardage by increasing the swimmers practice time in the pool.

“We’re just getting into some of the more intense practices and those will ramp up throughout the rest of the season,” VanDerMeid said.

Ranson and other swimmers agree that even though these practices are more intense than they expected it will help them in the long run.

“Even though we are more tired now, it’s going to be beneficial. It’s just about the amount of time that we put into the pool now and what we get out of it in the end,” Ranson said. “Right now, since it’s technically the beginning of the season everyone is just getting the endurance back up to where they need to be.”

Senior Michelle Bruno said it is hard not to compare VanDerMeid and Morini. She feels VanDerMeid has a different perspective but may help them succeed in the end. Bruno looks to improve on her times in individual meets as well as get to MAC’s at the end of the season.

“It’s definitely a different program,” she said. “We swim a lot more than we used to so hopefully that will give us an advantage.”

VanDerMeid hopes to avoid injuries this season and is already working heavily with injuries sustained from last season, such as junior Megan DiPalo’s shoulder injury. DiPalo has not been able to compete in any of the team’s early season meets. Coach VanDerMeid is in hopes of a strong recovery and has given her advice for improving her events without re-injuring herself.

“I really like that he definitely tries to talk to everyone and I’m hoping that the whole team can come together and improve this season,” she said.

VanDerMeid set a goal to win the Mid-American Conference Championship which he doesn’t think is out of the question. He credits the strong freshman squad and returning upperclassmen to his MAC Championship goal.

Ranson though, set a bigger goal up for himself as he hopes to qualify for National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA’s) in the 200 meter and 400 meter medley relay’s.

“We do have a handful of high end swimmers who had very good races so far,” he said.

The teams have upcoming meets against King’s College and Lycoming College before the Diamond City Invitational at the end of the month.

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