|Volume 92, Issue 59
Wednesday, January 13, 1999
sleeping with the enemy
Busy schedule slows down swimmers
© Tom Baumgartner/Gazette
By Ian Ross
The life of a varsity swimmer at Western is anything but quiet and relaxed these days. The team van pulled into campus last Wednesday after a tough nine day training camp in Florida and pulled back out on Saturday for a competition in Toronto against the Varsity Blues.
"We were pretty pooped," captain Andrew Munro admitted after the long trip back north took a lot out of the team. He described the travelling accommodations as anything but comfortable as 11 team members sardined themselves into a 10 person van.
The stress of their hectic schedule certainly didn't help on Saturday. Then again, neither did the fact that the struggling Mustangs faced off against the nationally third-ranked Varsity Blues. So, when the final swimmer came out of the pool, the lopsided scores favouring Toronto were not surprising. The Western men lost 137-39 while the women fared little better with a 124-55 drubbing.
Only three Mustang swimmers finished first. Stephanie Murray took the 100 metre freestyle, Sarah Teetsel won the 200 m freestyle and Amy Lanza was victorious in the 200 m breast stroke.
Bryon MacDonald, head coach of Toronto, said his team approached the meet just like any other, even though they were heavy favourites. "They only have a couple of races left on the year so they know they can't squander them."
Lanza said the team was fully aware of the talent on the Toronto squad and adjusted their team goal in accordance to the unfavourable odds heading into the weekend.
"We already knew they were really good," she said, about her opponents who held three former Olympians on their roster. "The meet was more about pulling together as a team."
Head coach Glen Belfry agreed with his swimmer on the strength of Toronto and admitted the performance by the women's team was even above expectations although the score didn't show it.
"They didn't give up before it started," he said. "I guess I was pleasantly surprised. I didn't realize we could be as competitive as we were."
One individual who stood out at the meet in the mind of Belfry was Murray in the 100 m freestyle. "She had an excellent training camp," he said. "She has the right frame of mind to go fast now."
On the men's side, Munro came the closest to victory with a second place finish in the 100 m freestyle. He was happy with his time in the event and said he was right on target for a competition at Brock this weekend and the Ontario championships in three weeks.
Pulling from a personal philosophy of practice makes perfect, the sophomore swimmer felt the busy schedule has in fact helped the team improve.
"What doesn't wear us down, makes us better," Munro said. "You can't improve if you sit on your butt and watch hockey instead of challenging yourself."
Copyright © The Gazette 1999