TORRINGTON – With numbers on the rise and a good mix of returners and newcomers to the 2019 squad, the Torrington swim team hits the water for the first time this summer this week in preparation for the upcoming season.
The Sharks will have a unique challenge of having seven practices before they open the season at the Bridgeport/Rushville, Neb., meet on Saturday, June 8.
“That’s less time than we’ve had since I’ve been coaching,” head coach Ethan Creagar said. “It’ll be a challenge to refresh everyone’s memories on strokes, and for the newer swimmers, to learn those strokes before you swim competitively.”
As a result, Creagar is looking for years to speed up the learning process, refreshing the memory of the returners, while teaching the different strokes to the newcomers.
“We have quite a few swimmers coming back, and also, quite a few new swimmers,” he said. “It’ll be fun to work with both of those groups.”
An early look at the numbers, the Sharks have approximately 50 swimmers.
“That maybe a little more than last year and little more than the year before that,” Creagar said. “It seems like we are slowly climbing in numbers.”
In addition to the challenge of the short preparation time, the Sharks also will host the second meet of the season at the Dale Jones Municipal Pool on Saturday, June 15.
The league attempts to rotate the schedule in an effort to allow everyone to host the annual season-ending medal meet. Also, new to the schedule is the pentathlon meet in Sidney, Neb., on Saturday, June 22.
“Every swimmer will swim all four strokes and a 100 medley,” Creagar said. “We haven’t done that the past few years. They wanted to put that in the middle so that everyone had a chance to swim events before the pentathlon.”
With the medal meet going to Hemingford, Neb., this summer and the return of pentathlon, it resulted in an unusually early meet for Torrington.
“It’ll be interesting to see how that will effort us,” Creagar said. “In the past, we’ve been able to prepare for the home meet differently with it being at the end of the year.”
This season will be Creagar’s second at the helm of the Shark team and third overall.
“Last year, I think we did a lot of really good things in terms of being in shape of all the teams,” Creagar said. “We had a lot of good athletes on the team who weren’t getting tired at the end of the races. I think that is something we will try to keep doing this year. One way we don’t want to lose races is by getting tired and not being able to push as hard as we want to the last 10 meters or so. We’ll look to keep the stamina up this season. Another thing we’ve been trying to implement is a good structure of practices. As a coach, you have to figure out how you want your weeks to setup, where you want to taper off and hopefully getting swimmers ready for events that weekend.”
It’s something the coaching staff is still trying to figure out how they want to approach that.
“We felt prepared, as a team, for the meets on Saturdays with good workouts early in the week and technique work late in the week,” Creagar said.