Records fly out of pool as Jacks compete at Summit championships

Chris Mangan

Chris Mangan

It was a weekend of school records, but unfortunately for the Jackrabbit men’s and women’s swimming teams, it was not a weekend of first place finishes at the Summit League Championships on Feb. 21-23 in Rochester, Mich.

Several school records fell, 15 on the women’s side and two on the men’s side. Head Coach Brad Erickson said the reason for so many new school records was the training program they use at the end of the year called “a shave and taper.”

“We taper the yardage down from about 10,000-yards a day to about 2000, so that gives their body a chance to a rest,” Erickson said. “The shave is more of a psychological thing, but it’s all part of that mental process of becoming prepared for the championship.”

The Jacks had high hopes heading into the weekend but came back disappointed with their finishes: the men finished in sixth place in the six team event, over 700 points behind champion Oakland, and the women finished a distant third to champion Oakland.

“We were hoping for both teams to finish stronger; in other words place higher at the championships, which the women did. Unfortunately, the men didn’t,” Erickson said.

For Oakland it was their ninth straight conference championship on both sides.

“They are quite dominant; they have a tradition going with them as well,” Erickson said of Oakland. “They have a strong program that goes back quite a ways. I think as our program develops, the same thing with the rest of our sports, that each year we’re going to get closer and closer, especially on the women’s side.”

The highest place on the women’s side was two second place finishes by sophomore Alex Hoffman in the 100- and 200-yard backstroke while the highest place finish on the men’s side was third place in the 400-yard IM by junior Josh Mueller.

The Jacks will be able to compete in the national championships as a full-fledge Summit League member in 2008-09.