Men's Swimming & Diving | Schmidt and motivated upperclassmen to continue Jumbos’ success in 2012-13
Published: Friday, November 16, 2012
Updated: Friday, November 16, 2012 08:11
Consistency has been the name of the game for the men’s swimming and diving team.
For the last seven years, the Jumbos have finished in the top three at the NESCAC Championships, and this year looks to be no different, as the strong returning swimmers are hungry for wins and will be paired with arguably the best diver in the Div. III field.
The Jumbos’ first chance for success will come this weekend as they take on Middlebury and Conn. College at the Camels’ facilities. “We’re all really excited for this upcoming weekend,” junior swimmer Craig Olynyk said. “We’ll have two days of racing against two very good teams. Last year Conn. beat us, so we’re really looking to show them it was a one-time thing.”
As far as diving goes, the Jumbos have nothing to be concerned about as long as junior Johann Schmidt is manning the springboard.
As a sophomore, Schmidt won the program’s first national title in 30 years. He earned it at the 2012 NCAA Div. III 1-meter diving event, defeating his nearest threat by more than 20 points.
In addition, he placed fifth in the 3-meter event at the championships to earn All-American honors. He is also a two-time defending NESCAC champion off both 1-meter and 3-meter boards.
“Repeating as national champion will be very challenging for Johann this year as the competition is fierce, but I know that’s one of his goals,” diving coach Brad Snodgrass said. “He’s keeping the focus on improving his diving overall to compete at an even higher level, namely changing mechanics of his hurdle and boardwork and pushing himself to master harder dives that will make him even more competitive.”
One man does not make a team, however. Returning swimmers including Olynyk, senior Michael Lambert, junior Kyle Savidge and sophomore Michael Ren will need to do their part in the pool and in the locker room to ensure success, while swimming coach Adam Hoyt does his best at managing the squad during dual meets.
“I think our team is stronger, fitter and more prepared for the season than ever before,” Schmidt said. “Everyone is excited to race and dive, but most of all the team camaraderie is better than ever. We are all extremely close outside of the pool, and on deck our bond feels even stronger. I know this tight-knit relationship will translate to the pool deck and starting blocks.”
It is always difficult to replace senior leaders like Owen Rood (LA ’12), Lou Tamposi (LA ’12) and Reed Shimberg (LA ’12), but the team has been working to step up its performance in their absence.
“Our class of 10 freshmen arrived on campus and got right in the pool, which helped motivate many upperclassmen to work hard this preseason,” Hoyt said. “Though our senior class is small, they are a great group with a strong sense of what it means to be a team.”
Six seniors return to the team this year, a smaller class in comparison to last year’s class of 12.
With so few returning swimmers, much of the scoring will have to be done by the younger members of the team.
“We’ll look to our freshmen to step up this weekend and score some valuable points,” Hoyt said.”[But the] strong sophomore and junior class should help us to be just as strong as last season.”
The schedule, unlike the roster, will remain mostly the same for the Jumbos this season.
Other than a minor switch in a meet involving Keene State, most of the 2012-13 winter season will seem like deja vu for returning Jumbos.
“Our schedule will be extremely competitive this season with us racing two teams that finished top five at NCAAs last season [Williams and MIT] as well as another top 20 team [Conn.],” Hoyt said. “Right now our team chemistry is great and I think that may make the difference this year.
“The guys want to work hard for individual success but even more, they want to work hard and succeed as they know their team is counting on them,” Hoyt added.