Swimmers Seek Improvement
By Jamie Frankel

The Oberlin College swimming and diving teams look to a new season in hope of performing to their potential.
The team will be under the leadership of head coach Dick Michaels who begins his 33rd year as the men’s coach and his seventh season as the women’s coach. During his tenure at Oberlin College, Michaels’ accomplishments include coaching six national champions in the past 12 seasons as well as coaching the first female All-American swimmer in school history last season. Although the women’s team lost 10 letter-winners from last year’s team, including All-American Celeste Mercer, the women’s team will put up a fight and be competitive in their meets this season.
“Our goal is to get better,” coach Michaels explains about the position his teams are in this season.
Although it is early in the season, the men’s team had their first victory of the season this past weekend when they competed against Baldwin-Wallace College. They won the meet by accumulating 135 points to Baldwin-Wallace’s 85.
The women were not as successful as they dropped the meet by the score of 135 to 82.
Many good performances were turned in by both the men’s and women’s teams in this meet and this will give the team something to look forward to in upcoming meets.
Although most, if not all, of the other teams that Oberlin faces have a considerably larger roster, Michaels remains confident in his team’s abilities.
“Most of the other schools have more [players] but my goal is to get the very best kids I can,” he said.
Although Michaels agrees that it is extremely hard to attract athletes to Oberlin because of its unique reputation, he remains confident that his swimmers will improve and give their best effort in the pool.
“It has been hard for 33 years to recruit students,” he said.
In the first action of the year, both the men and women’s team hosted fellow conference opponent Denison University. Denison, which is perennially a national powerhouse, proved to be as tough as advertised. Both the men and the women’s teams put in solid efforts but fell short in the end. The men lost by a score of 128 to 73 and the women fell 139 to 79.
Although it is too early to tell about the leadership on the team, he expects the team to get better just by the effort they have exhibited so far by putting extra time in the pool and hours in the weight room.
“Some of the slower people have made progress,” Michaels said. This improvement will hopefully produce some confidence and better performances in the pool.
Up next for both teams will be conference opponent Ohio Wesleyan University this Saturday in Delaware, Ohio. The men, who beat Ohio Wesleyan last season, will look to gain their second dual victory of the season. The women’s team, although short-handed, will look to gain its first dual victory of the season.

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