The Ohio State men’s swimming team is set to kick off 2017 with a meet at the University of Cincinnati on Friday to face Cincinnati, Kenyon College and Oakland University.
The Buckeyes are back in competition after an extensive holiday training trip in Boca Raton, Florida.
“Mentally, it is really nice knowing that training is as hard as it’s going to get, because we are as physically worn down as we can be,” senior Andrew Appleby said.
Despite having an intense week of conditioning and going two months without competing, Appleby and his teammates are ready to get back to racing.
“We are all pretty sore right now,” he said. “We’ve been working really hard and I think we are in a really good spot heading into the rest of our season.”
In addition to the physical benefits of the training trip, the time the team had together allowed for the younger and older swimmers to become more unified said coach Bill Wadley.
“I think that the opportunity to develop a cohesiveness is important to a championship team, and they did a nice job of building some of that collateral and connecting with one another,” he said. “I saw people become closer in their relationships which can be hard when you’re a senior in college trying to be friends with a freshman because they are on such different playing fields.”
This week’s meet is the first one on the road for the Buckeyes this season, and for the freshmen swimmers, the eagerness to compete is at a high.
“We don’t have a lot of opportunity to go to a lot of away meets, because most teams want to swim here since we have such a great pool,” Appleby said. “So the new guys who are going to be on the road with us are definitely excited to get out to swim some new teams in a different location,” Appleby said.
Even though the Buckeyes will only be competing against nonconference opponents this weekend, it is just as important as facing Big Ten opponents, Appleby said.
Seizing the opportunity is exactly what Wadley emphasizes to his team, along with having the ability to perform in any environment.
“We need to get good at doing it well in other places,” Wadley said. “It’s easy to do it well in your own backyard but it’s a little more challenging to do well in someone else’s backyard.”
Competition is scheduled to start at 5 p.m. on Friday and continues Saturday at 11 a.m.