In the Locker Room with Hannah Pieper, Jack Redell and Liam Oznowich


Ben Shepherd

First-year Hannah Pieper (left), sophomore Liam Oznowich and senior Jack Redel

Nate Levinson, Sports Editor

How have the first few meets of the season gone?

Jack Redell: We’ve been training really hard so far and that’s definitely taken its toll. Everyone is pretty sore. Given that, everybody is racing really well, and we’re much further along than we were at this point last season.

Liam Oznowich: During our first meet against Hiram [College], we killed it. We won all the races. Even though [our meet against The College of Wooster] didn’t go as well as we wanted, our times were a lot better compared to last year.

Hannah Pieper: I wasn’t here last year, so I have no idea how it compares. I feel like, considering where we are in the season and how hard we’ve been training, and comparing this experience to my previous seasons, things are going well.

How was turnout the for the first home meet?

JR: It was great. It was on Halloween, so we got a lot of people dressed up in their attire. A good friend of mine was just wearing a hat; he looked like somebody’s dad. That was cool. A lot of our friends came out. We did a great job of publicizing it. Swim meets are entertaining to go to at times, and if you want to, you can see Liam swim the mile, which is the most fun. It’s good to have people around to make noise with us.

LO: The best part was we had a lot of people come and they stayed for the entire time. Usually we have people come and they only stay for like the first 10 minutes.

HP: I was really impressed with all the people.

Is there any advantage to swimming at Robert Carr Pool?

JR: We recently adopted a new mascot who hangs out at Carr Pool. His name is Uncle Ricky.

That will give us an advantage from here on out, but otherwise there’s a standard. The only real advantage is that we get to see all our friends and try to look good for them.

LO: We always look good, Jack. Let’s be real. Also, being at home is nice because traveling on buses is really tiring.

How has it been adjusting to the rigorous practice schedule?

HP: I think it was kind of a tough adjustment. It’s better now, but the first week or two I could tell that I was more fatigued. It’s super weird because I don’t see my roommate at all during the week, because I’m always asleep when she comes back and I get up before she gets up. Being on an opposite schedule from the rest of campus is really weird, but I think it’s becoming more normal.

How long does it typically take to feel like you’re in midseason form?

JR: The best point of our season is always at the end. That’s when we try to race our fastest. When we’re about here, you kind of get into a good groove, working out every day.

LO: We have a meet coming up in the middle of December in the week before reading period in Fredonia, NY, and that is typically where people go the fastest before conference because then after that we go into Winter Term, which is a very intense practice schedule. We get really tired, so at the meets that we have during Winter Term we don’t do as well.

How long have you been swimming? How and why did you first start?

JR: I’ve been swimming since sophomore year of high school, which is a little late. I started probably as a mistake. Somebody pushed me in the pool. I thought I was gonna play another sport; basketball, which I’m just terrible at. Somebody told me that I would get to take my clothes off all the time for swimming and I was sold.

LO: I’ve swam since I was seven, but it’s because I couldn’t play any other sport. I would get made fun of in P.E. all the time. I threw the ball in the wrong basket one time. It made it in, but it was for the other team. Swimming was the only thing that I could physically do. It’s a very non-confusing, straightforward sport.

HP: I started swimming in first or second grade because I was playing soccer at the time, but I hated to sweat. I hated how it felt to sweat with clothes on. I figured I’d swim, and it just sucked me in.

What other parts of your life does swimming help you with?

JR: I sleep very well at night.

LO: Time management. I am less efficient with my work when I’m not swimming even though I do have more time.

HP: Getting schoolwork done. I eat a lot.

The season lasts the better part of six months. How do you stay motivated for that long?

JR: Stockholm syndrome. There are goals that you want to achieve, and everyone has sort of a target time or something they really want to do. We keep each other pretty motivated. If Liam keeps showing up to practice and I don’t, that’s bad form on my part.

LO: The coaches help a lot. We really like Sarah and Andy — the dream team. They call themselves that. When things get really hard, they give us motivational speeches.

HP: Or they just yell at us. I think small goals help a lot, too. Breaking it down and making more attainable short-term goals keeps me motivated.

Do you feel like Coach Brabson is more comfortable in his second season here?

JR: Totally. Last season, he was kind of thrust into the job a little late in the game. He seems a lot more confident this season. We can really see the ways that he’s a lot better than our previous coach.

LO: It reflects really well this season with recruiting because he has a much better sense of what Oberlin is as a school and not just the swim team. I’ve been really impressed with the recruits that he’s brought in, in terms of how they seem like they’d be able to fit in here.

What are the best and worst parts of the swim team?

JR: Best part is probably Saturday morning practice. We love Saturday morning practice.

LO: I am a late night person, I get my best work done late at night, so it’s very frustrating when I should be going to bed by 11 during the season. I’m a creative writer, and I do my best writing late at night.

HP: Swimming also dries out your skin so much. My skin is stretched so tight.