SWIMMING AND DIVING | Potomac Relays Open GU's Season
Published: Thursday, September 27, 2012
Updated: Thursday, September 27, 2012 23:09
Seven months since the Georgetown swimming and diving team last hit the lanes in a competitive meet, the team is ready to get back to facing off against other squads.
“Racing is fun. It’s what we came here to do,” senior captain Amy Ballanfant said. “We’re definitely ready to get in the pool and show off what we’ve got.”
They’ll have their chance to do that today, when the Hoyas participate in the annual Potomac Relays, a meet for Washington-area schools that is being hosted this year by American.
Aside from the Eagles, the Blue and Gray will take on George Washington, George Mason, Howard, Mary Washington and Towson. As always, there is a little extra on the line when Georgetown faces neighboring squads.
“It’s always really exciting to match up with a bunch of teams from the area,” Ballanfant, who specializes in freestyle sprinting, said. “It’s going to be a lot of fun. There is a really even playing field.”
That level of composition will give the Blue and Gray their first chance for success since the men and women finished sixth and ninth, respectively, in February’s Big East Championship.
To build on those results, Georgetown will rely on its massive 17-member freshman class.
“We definitely filled some spots in events where we were lacking,” Ballanfant said. “I don’t think [the freshmen] will struggle transitioning to the college level. The biggest change is just the team environment with college swimming that you don’t get with your clubs.”
To cope with the seven-month break between live game action, Hoya swimmers have had to train on their own this summer. But Ballanfant believes that the break hasn’t impacted her team.
“I think everyone did a good job of staying in shape over the summer, but we definitely have to get back to top form where we can post some best times,” Ballanfant said. “I was able to find a gym with a pool to get some time in, which was good.”
After the Potomac Relays, which include a diving component this afternoon at McCarthy Pool, Georgetown will face Delaware and Towson in October, before meeting league rivals Rutgers, Connecticut and Villanova in the Big East Quad Meet on Nov. 2 and 3.
A strong showing today would help build more confidence for the Blue and Gray. It also offers an opportunity for the incoming freshmen to push seniors and for the team as a whole to gauge its performance compared to its peers.
“I think this senior class has done a great job building a bridge to a better program,” Ballanfant said. “This is the best team we’ve had since I’ve been here, and I’m excited to get out there and race.”
The meet starts at 3 p.m. on Friday at American University’s Reeves Aquatic Center.