Sophmore swimmers making waves
By Asher Markham
The Western men's swim team is going into this season with realistic expectations, focusing on individual events as opposed to team successes.
The problem is not the quality of the swimmers, but the amount of them.
Coach Glen Belfry said the pool in Thames Hall has become an issue. "Our pool is 50 years old, whereas most other schools have relatively new facilities," Belfry said. "This reason, coupled with the fact that our pool is in yards, seems to be hurting our recruitment process."
The Western pool is 25 yards long, as opposed to 25 metres, which is competition length. Belfry feels this deters some swimmers from competing at Western, for fear of not receiving the proper training. There are only nine men this year which is down from 14 last year.
Two of the bright spots on the men's side this year include Andrew Munro and Nathan Degiorgio. Munro placed fourth last year in the 200 metre freestyle event at the Ontario University Athletics championship as a rookie. The three swimmers who defeated him have all since retired, leaving Munro with high expectations.
Besides his accomplishments, Belfry is also expecting some leadership out of Munro.
"I feel I can provide leadership and competitiveness to this team," said Munro. "I have been swimming since I was eight years old [for the Etobicoke Aquatic Club] and although I only have one year under my belt here, my experience still allows me to be a leader."
Munro, however, does not expect to do this alone. "Nathan adds a lot to this team," Munro commented. "He brings consistency, a good work ethic and is very dedicated."
Degiorgio is also just in his second year at Western, although he too has been swimming since a very young age out of Tillsonburg, Ontario.
"I try to just make it fun for everyone including myself," the swimmer said. "Andrew probably brings more leadership than I do. He's an elite swimmer who's been to many elite competitions, but I do what I can."
Degiorgio's goal this year is to make the CIAUs in both the 100 and 200 metre breast-stroke. He is only a half second off the cut in the 100 and one and a half off in the 200.
As for the length of the pool, Degiorgio believes it is not a problem, seeing it as a mental obstacle and not a physical one.
The Mustangs' next meet will be at the Thames Hall pool on Nov. 14 when they host the Wilfred Laurier Golden Hawks.