Check-in with the UF swimming and diving team
By Jaye Williams
The Oilers swimming and diving team had three athletes earn All-American honors at Nationals last season. Two of those athletes are still competing for Oiler Nation and are seeing much success as the season gains momentum.
Senior Meri Cizmar and junior Janko Radmanovic are looking to repeat what they did last season.
“We have heightened expectations due to the success of their efforts last year,” said Andrew Makepeace, head coach of the swimming and diving team.
Makepeace believes that this year’s team should re-write the record books, but that’s not everyone’s goal. According to him, the success of others will be based on their lifetime best performances.
The team will push one another to achieve this goal.
“Our biggest strength is our team chemistry. I enjoy that our team shows up to practice each day with enthusiasm to train together,” said Makepeace. “It takes hard work to be successful in our program, which is why we attempt to keep practice a place our team wants to come each day.”
The Oilers swam and dove at the Ashland University.
The women’s team finished 2nd with a total of 948 points and the men’s finished 3rd with a total of 709.5 points.
First place performances of the meet came from the Women 200 Yard Freestyle Relay, Men 50 yard freestyle, Women 200 Yard IM, Women 400 Yard Medley Relay, Women 200 Yard Medley Relay, Men 100 Yard Butterfly, Women 100 Yard Breaststroke, Women 200 Yard Backstroke, Women 200 Yard Breaststroke, Women 400 Yard Freestyle Relay.
There were multiple strong performances and the team was successful in many areas.
Regarding overall success of the team so that they can continue having such strong performances, Makepeace said UF swimmers and divers must focus on their daily goals, follow the process, and trust in the training that they do.
“If we remain diligent on a daily basis on the little things, our success will follow,” said Makepeace.
With success there is still also room for improvement.
“The area we need to improve the most is just experience. We are young and hungry, but need to gain experience swimming and diving at the collegiate level,” said Makepeace.
The team still has challenges they must face and the facility is one of them.
“The biggest challenge is overcoming our facility. We have a big team and practicing in a small space with such large numbers creates issues,” said Makepeace.
Beyond overcoming their small facility, Makepeace looks forward to growing the program.
“I think our success is continued by the type of student-athlete we attract and the environment that has been created and fostered,” said Makepeace.
UF’s swimming and diving team will compete Oct. 22 at Ashland University at 1 p.m.