The men and women’s swimming and diving teams will compete in their first meet of the season this weekend, when they will face both MIT and Babson. Head Coach Brad Burnham said that the forecast for this season is unpredictable.
“We’ve got a lot of talented kids, but since we just got started last week, we really have no idea how we’ll perform. We’ll find out a lot after this weekend,” Burnham said.
Last year, the Polar Bears performed well throughout the season and were able to send multiple swimmers to the NCAA D-III tournament.
“We finished in the top half of the conference. There were plenty of best times, which is really what we strive for,” said Burnham.
Despite coming off a relatively strong season, Burnham said he is hesitant to set goals so early in the season. The number of first-year recruits and juniors studying abroad could make for an uncertain start to the season, according to him.
“We don’t start to talk team goals until winter break, once everyone’s back from abroad, but right now, we haven’t discussed specific team goals,” Burnham explained.
Burnham said the first years have a lot of potential this season, although he acknowledged that they have a lot of work to do before they’re ready to compete effectively.
“They look like they know how to swim, but they don’t know how to turn, and they don’t really know how to start, so we’ve been working on those things,” Burnham said. “But they do have a good feel for the water, and there’s a lot of talent.”
Burnham said that the team will face some significant challenges in the NESCAC, but he expressed confidence in his team’s potential for success.
“The competition gets tougher every year, and each of the teams gets faster each season,” he said.
“However, at this point, we have a lot of returning swimmers who are striving to perform better. Overall, I think we have a pretty solid team.”