After an up-and-down meet at Bates last weekend, the men's and women's swimming and diving teams will compete at the University of Maine-Orono tomorrow. Next Saturday, they will swim against Wesleyan and Trinity at Colby.
"The [Maine-Orono] meet is a little different because they're D-I, and there are different events," said women's team captain Caitlin Callahan '11. "We don't usually get to do [50-yard events in conference] meets."
However, "we expect to win the next three dual meets," said head coach Brad Burnham.
The first of these will be next weekend's competition against Wesleyan and Trinity.
"That meet will be a chance to see how three other conference teams are doing," said Callahan.
"Swimming is different," said Burnham. "We don't need to win meets; we're really trying to simulate what [the conference meet] will be like," in the upcoming meets.
The swim season, most of which occurs after Winter Break, is largely focused on the NESCAC conference meet. This year, Bowdoin will host the men's conference championship at the end of February and the women's conference championship will be at Williams.
In the most recent meet on January 15, the men won against Bates 185-113. First year Ryan Peabody took first place in the 1,000-yard freestyle and the 400-yard individual medley.
The Polar Bears also won the 400-yard freestyle relay (comprised of Basyl Stuyvesant '13, Nathan Mecray '12, Mac Routh '12 and Linc Rhodes '14) and 200 medley relay (Stuyvesant, Zach Perez '12, Routh and Mecray).
"It was a great competition...an outstanding meet," said Callahan. "The points on the women's side look a little more unbalanced than the [it] actually was. Event by event, it was a very close meet."
The women's team lost to the Bobcats 193-107. Allen Garner '12 won both the 100- and 200-yard backstroke, while senior Allison Palmer took first in the 50-yard freestyle.
Despite the different results, Burnham said, "[the men and women's teams are] swimming about the same. It was more that the Bates women's team was stronger than the men's team."
"The winter training that we're in right now is always the most productive time," he added. "People learn the most and figure out what their season is going to be about."
This season the team is doing well in comparison to last year.
"I think we're ahead of where we've been at this point before," Callahan said. "The last couple weeks have been really strong, really focused."
The swim team returned to campus before the new year, and started practicing on December 30.
"I think it's been a good season so far...we've had a really good couple weeks of training. It's really exciting to see people improving," said Callahan.
So far, Burnham is also very satisfied with the team's swimming.
"The [first year] class has added quite a bit of depth in events that we weren't as strong in for the last couple of years," Burnham said. Callahan agreed.
"We have a strong class of freshman," said Callahan. "We have four full classes for the first time I've been here...I'm definitely looking forward to [everyone's swimming in] the next couple weeks."