Trojan swimmers look at SWCs as just another meet
Published 3:45 pm, Thursday, March 3, 2011
It's sure to be loud, exciting and pressure-filled. Well, maybe not the latter for the Weston boys swim team members. Today's SWC Championships at Masuk is being looked at as just another meet by the Trojans.
"For us, it's another swim," Weston Coach Tom Grace said. "It's tough going up against those bigger SWC schools." Weston, of course, is a Class S school and several M, L and LL schools compete in the conference, the coach noted.
"It's hard to compete with the larger schools just because of the numbers," said Weston junior co-Gabe Rosen, adding that the team proud to have all 16 competitors representing the school at the SWC championships. "It's always fun." Rosen will swim the 100-yard breaststroke event, along with the 200-yard individual medley and as a member of the 200-yard freestyle relay team.
The Trojans typically strive for a top-five finish in the conference meet, Grace said. Losses to several key graduates led to a 5-6 win-loss campaign and the Trojans being in a rebuilding stage, along with the coach realizing that a finish among the top handful of teams might be a bit of a stretch this time around. The coach added that his team has not been tapering or focusing on the SWC meet the way it is preparing for the upcoming Class S State Championships -- a meet which the coach believes his team will have a chance for a top-five finish.
"It was a big rebuilding year -- giving the sophomores some experience of being the top dogs for us, and the freshman an opportunity to swim in meets," Grace said.
The coach added that the experience of being in the conference championships should help the Weston swimmers as they push forward in the state championships and beyond -- next year and in the seasons to follow. "I think that's critical," he said of the younger swimmers simply gaining exposure to championship competition.
Among the swimmers Grace does have high expectations for are senior captain Spencer Kelley, the lone senior on the squad, who is a standout sprint freestyler. Another is sophomore Jordan Berger, who had success in the postseason last year, and will swim the butterfly and breaststroke again in this year's SWC championship meet.
Grace added that sophomore diver Dean Rapp is another strong Weston team member, whom the coach thinks can have a top-five or ten finish in states. The SWC diving competition was held on Wednesday.
Kelley enters the championship in second heat of the 50-yard freestyle and seeded second, as well as in the second heat of the 100-yard freestyle, seeded fourth. "It's going to be a great swim with these guys," Kelley said.
"We're not looking to win," said Kelley, but the Trojans are hoping to log some good swim times and have some swimmers qualify for the state championships with fast finishes.
He's been to championship meets before and says the underclassmen making their first postseason appearances are in for a fun experience. "It's an awesome feeling just being there," Kelley said.
"We have a lot of new swimmers on our team who are coming on pretty fast and they're going to swim fantastically," Berger added. "I'm always looking forward to all of our meets. ... We bond really well when we swim."