Successful Swimming and Diving Season Comes to an End


Amanda Regan

Seniors Jordan Attwood (left), Luke Harrison, Kelin Michael, Isaac Bacon, Robert McConkey, Katie Dunn, Chris Pickens and Rhys Hertafeld celebrate senior night at their final home meet. The Yeowomen finished seventh, while the Yeomen finished fifth at last weekend’s NCAC championships.

Hannah Heinke-Green

After successful seasons, the Swimming and Diving Team traveled to Denison University this past weekend for the North Coast Athletic Conference Swimming and Diving championships.  The Yeomen finished fifth with a total of 683 points, the Yeomen finished fifth, while the Yeowomen finished seventh with a total of 772 points.

The Yeowomen ended their regular season without a loss a remarkable feat considering that their former coach, Mark Fino, unexpectedly left Oberlin in August to coach at John Carroll University. In January, both the men and women’s teams managed to beat their former coach at his new school.

“The women finishing the regular season undefeated was a highlight for the year,” said first year Head Coach Andrew Brabson, who led both the Yeomen and Yeowomen to winning seasons this year.

However, Brabson acknowledges that there is room for improvement. “On the women’s side we were hoping to finish a little bit better at the conference level,” he said.

Brabson addressed the challenges involved in being a rookie head coach. “It’s difficult without having seen any of my swimmers swim before, and never having rested them [for NCAC’s] before. It’s difficult to know exactly what they need during a taper.”

He feels a lot can be learned from the team’s performance at Conference. “[Conference is] a good indicator of what we need to do differently during our rest period, as well as what other people might need to focus on in training, whether it’s a different event to train for or just a different philosophy for training in general,” he said.

The men’s team exceeded expectations with its fifth place finish, three places higher than its finish last season.

Sophomore Aaron Frederick calls the jump in rankings “absolutely massive” and accredits their success to Brabson, saying, “Andy has done a lot of stuff that I had never done before, and that made me a better swimmer.”

Sophomore Samma Regan and first-years Vera Hutchinson, Madeleine Prangley and Nora Cooper made school history in the 800-meter freestyle relay with a time of 7 minutes, 49.50 seconds.

“I didn’t know that we were going for the record because it required a huge time drop for all of us, but right before we went up our coach gave us a time to beat. I only found out after I swam that we set a school record.” Prangley said. The 7:49.50 timestamp resulted in fifth place overall in the 800 freestyle relay.

Although no members of either team qualified for Nationals at the conference meet, they will have another chance this weekend. A handful of swimmers have elected to travel to Kenyon College in a last effort to earn a trip to Nationals.

First-year Liam Oznowich explained his decision to swim this weekend. “Coach [Brabson] and I decided that since I wasn’t totally satisfied with my performance at conferences, another week of rest may be beneficial.”

Brabson is excited and optimistic about the future of swimming and diving. “The mission is always to move up and do better than the previous year,” he said.

“[With] a strong base of younger swimmers I think we can really improve. My expectations for next year are going to be pretty high,” he added.