By: Mac Williams
The University of Findlay Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving Team kicked off their season on Friday, Oct. 6 in hosting their annual Black and Orange Alumni Meet.
The event gives alumni of the program a chance to come back and visit with current team members as well as engage in some friendly competition. The Black and Orange meet was a great way to kick off the season. According to senior captain Ben Rath, the team has high expectations for year.
“As a team, our expectations are to sweep the conference titles,” said Rath. “On a national scale, we expect to qualify a handful of swimmers and relays to the NCAAs and finish top 20.”
For both teams, the first official meet of the season takes place Oct. 13-14 at Northern Michigan. The first home event of the year will be Oct. 28 against Saginaw Valley State.
Head Coach Andrew Makepeace is just as excited for the season as he states this is the most talented group the program has ever seen.
“[This year] we are way more talented,” Makepeace stated. We have way more depth and a really good group energy-wise which helps at practice.”
Makepeace explains his goals for the team also include winning a conference championship, in addition to the women’s team ranking 12th at the NCAA Division II Championships and the men’s team ranking 20th.
Rath agrees that both teams should win the GMAC conference this year as the team has a number of experienced swimmers to lead them.
“I consider us the best team in the conference. Not to discredit any of the other teams, but, as a whole, our men’s and women’s teams have the most depth and talent,” explained Rath. “If everyone swims to their potential, we will have two of the top three places in every event.”
With a team richer in talent this year, the Oilers are anticipating a successful season. If you are having trouble deciding which UF sporting events to go to, a swim and dive meet may be worth your time.
“We have new confidence and the ability to set the bar for our own program,” Makepeace said. “In doing so, we’ll set the bar for the entire conference.”
For a complete schedule of the Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving team check out http://athletics.findlay.edu/sports/swimdive/2017-18/schedule