Where exactly do we stand at this point?

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OutsideSmoker27
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Where exactly do we stand at this point?

Post by OutsideSmoker27 » Sat Nov 05, 2011 11:25 pm

So where are we?

No one seems to have a freshman class that has shown evidence of setting the world on fire, even though some of the specific freshman look like excellent catches. Everyone's women's team (even Bethany's) is noticeably bigger than everyone's men's team. They also seem to be doing better overall.

Originally, I wondered if the Grove City men's striking defeat at the hands of Allegheny was 1) a cause for concern, 2) a meet that was closer than the score would suggest, 3) a sign that I was once again rating Allegheny far higher/lower than I ought, 4) a case of rough swimming in the midst of a tough fall practice schedule. After closer inspection, #3 wins the day (and #2 is waaaaaay off). Many points to Coach Detwiler for reviving the Gators' fortunes again -- at least on the men's side. Westminster's nearly-identical handling of Allegheny this weekend reinforces that guess. The Westminster and Grove City women remain strong, and the men's teams are moving closer to parity, though as weedwacker pointed out, I think (read: assume) the GCC men retain the edge.

After this, the certainties start getting really thin.

The GCC/SVC meet of this afternoon, besides being started late due to a scheduling malfunction, produced little in the way of surprises, except that at times it made St. Vincent's men's team look even more undermanned than it actually is. Also, I was informed that the delay in posting rosters can be attributed to the additional burden placed on him by this semester's full launch of GCC's exercise science program. It is, I think, largely a one-time thing.

I also had the idea that David Dow's ascension at Bethany might signal an immediate turnaround of their fortunes. As it turns out, it's still the same old same old.....in the roster/recruitment department at least. I was interested to learn, for example, that
Bethany SID wrote:With only five returners from last season, Dow isn’t the only new face with the Bethany programs this winter.
and that
1 D. Dow wrote:Dalton [Lacy] and Bobby [Striker] are first time swimmers. Bobby is currently involved with cross country here at Bethany, so we haven't had too much time to spend with him.
This is a very familiar tune, and with only 13 swimmers total between the two teams, there's not much grass to make hay with this season.

Not that any of this should really be charged to the new coach's account. (The lack of long-term team memory may actually be, oddly enough, good for him.) And there is in fact evidence that his tenure is not simply McGowan Version 2.0.
1 D. Dow wrote:There is a definite change from what the returners are used to. The workouts during preseason have been different and we’ve been spending a lot more time with dry land workouts.
Here's to his efforts, in hopes that the team will begin moving upward consistently. Marina Baker's SOTW award was a nice start.

W&J is a puzzle. Consider: of half a dozen freshman men from last year, none were have returned (as was previously pointed out). The women showed up with a full complement for today's meet against WVWC and won handily; the men swam half a dozen guys, dove only John Szott, and lost handily. What was THAT all about?

Maybe things will get clearer as we move through November. And hopefully the fog will have lifted by around the time we get to the December meets?
Families share the bond of blood; teams share the bond of toil, tears, and sweat. Both share the bond of the heart.

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DexterSwimmer
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Re: Where exactly do we stand at this point?

Post by DexterSwimmer » Sun Nov 06, 2011 11:46 am

The season is off and running. It's great to see several PAC teams mentioned in the new D3 regional rankings. In the MidEast region for the women, Grove City is ranked 4th behind Denison, Kenyon, and Carnegie Mellon. The vote differential between GCC and CMU is pretty tight ... the meet this weekend between the two should be exciting. Westminster and W&J also received votes and the Westminster freshman class looks like they're off to a good start this season.

The men's side is more sparse for the PAC in the rankings. No team made the top 10 list, but GCC is mentioned as having received votes. Hopefully the men's teams can build their rankings through more NCAA qualifying swims this season.

One speculation in answer to Outsidesmoker's question about the Allegheny men's surprisingly lopsided victory over the GCC ... It doesn't look like the GCC team was at full strength. Several GCC team members including Beckner, Bowser, Hamilton, Foster, and Bossert were attending a water polo tournament that weekend and didn't swim. With the strong swims that Allegheny posted, I doubt the overall outcome would have changed, but the score would likely have been closer with a full GCC team.

titantown
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Re: Where exactly do we stand at this point?

Post by titantown » Mon Nov 07, 2011 2:37 pm

With only a handful of meets in the books, I always say its easier to judge how each team stands after the winter invites towards the end of the semester. Although my experience with WC swimmers has been that they don't really show what they can do till training trip is complete. With the exception of those gunning for NCAA cuts (think Lehberger, and last year Herdt too) at the wooster invite. GCC usually starts swimming faster earlier in the season than their neighbors from New Wilmington, but by PACs the difference is cut down. It'd be interesting to find out why this is. Do the Wolverines rest more (or more often) than the Titans early on? I know klamut keeps a focus on Championships and doesn't like to alter practice routines for other meets. Or is this a result of differences in off season work put in between the two squads, maybe with the Wolverines returning more prepared?

This is less based on this years results (because I haven't had time to check it all out) and more on how past seasons have played out.

OutsideSmoker27
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Re: Where exactly do we stand at this point?

Post by OutsideSmoker27 » Mon Nov 07, 2011 10:41 pm

titantown wrote:I always say its easier to judge how each team stands after the winter invites towards the end of the semester. Although my experience with WC swimmers has been that they don't really show what they can do till training trip is complete.
I agree with everything you say here. Klamut knows how to get lower times out of a lot of his swimmers a lot of the time. Wooster times usually get dropped by PACs -- or at least they did in the days when I still paid attention to these things -- and if memory serves, the Titans' Nationals breaststrokers have tended to drop time again from February to March over the last few seasons.

On the other point:
titantown wrote:I know klamut keeps a focus on Championships and doesn't like to alter practice routines for other meets.
I can speak with 100-105% certainty that the same is true of Fritz. As to why Grove City's times are relatively better than Westminster's this early in the season, it is an interesting question. The more-prepared-after-the-summer theory is as good as anything, but it doesn't quite sing to me. I will admit, though, that I haven't got anything better to offer off the top of my head.
Families share the bond of blood; teams share the bond of toil, tears, and sweat. Both share the bond of the heart.

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