Swimming readies for conference meet

The women’s swim team continues to grow in strength and numbers under coach John Stuhltrager’s leadership. (Photo by Sam Brettschneider)

As the swimming season progresses, the team is coming off a tough loss from their last meet on Nov. 4 against Lycoming College.

Head coach John Stuhltrager has high hopes for the team in their upcoming meet against King’s College on Nov. 11.

The team gained two freshmen, one male and one female. The two swimmers are learning to adapt to different training methods and difficult practice sessions.

“After losing three seniors, the upperclassmen and returning athletes must step up and take a new leadership role,” said Stuhltrager, who has high expectations for the veteran swimmers this season since all the returners have qualified for their conference meet this year.

Stuhltrager mentioned five returning standout swimmers: Colby Stein, Julianna Burnett, Isabelle Ramsland, Melanie Milam, and Zachery Cather, who have all improved since last season.

The team started off with a loss in their first meet against Widener University; however, many members of the team won individual events, which is significant because the number of Widener’s swimmers is so large.

Junior Juli Burnett said that she is excited for the rest of the season because she believes the team is  faster than they were last year at this time.

The team admits that preseason is difficult because Stevenson doesn’t have a pool. Because of this, the team’s off-season heavily relies on weight training. All the swimmers lifted during the summer and off-season, something that many had not done before. The weightlifting has helped the returning swimmers and now the freshman, become bigger, faster, and stronger.

The men’s swim team has relied on senior Zach Cather for his leadership and experience. (Photo by Sam Brettschneider)

Swimming season is a long and difficult journey, with the last meets ending in February. Stuhltrager’s mission is to get all the swimmers to “swim fast when they are tired.” To do this, the swimmers practice five times a week at 6 a.m. at McDonogh High School, and also lift three times a week.

Due to the difficult schedule, Stuhltrager said that he expects times to drop throughout the next couple of meets. Although he does not expect his swimmers to improve, he still wants his swimmers to believe in what they do and believe in the process because in the end they will become remarkably faster.

“I anticipate getting some lifetime bests in January, which will set us up for our conference meet,” said Stuhltrager.

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