Swimming season starts with successful intrasquad meet

When a meet starts off with swimmers jumping wildly off diving boards while teammates slap foam floaters on the starting blocks, it’s clear it won’t be an everyday competition. And it certainly wasn’t a typical competition for Miami’s women’s swim team Friday afternoon, as they held their first scheduled event, an intrasquad meet.

Head Coach Christie Shefchunas divided the squad, forming the orange and green teams. The team was pitted against themselves, competing for pride and gaining valuable experience.

“Many of the girls may be breaking down from practicing so hard, so I wanted them to get the experience of competing in a meet,” Shefchunas said. “I’m very happy with all the times.”

Emerson Davis recorded a noteworthy time. She posted her best time in the 200 freestyle, recording 1:56.01, beating a time of 1:57.11 at last year’s Georgia Tech Invitational.

The Orange Canes emerged victorious, defeating the Green team by a score of 102 to 93, but the score wasn’t the most meaningful result to come out of the UC Pool Friday evening.

Next on the schedule, the Hurricanes will face a competition against Florida International University on Oct. 20.

Shefchunas was able to observe her team in a competitive format and draw conclusions for the upcoming season, the 30th anniversary of Miami’s 1976 National Championship in women’s swimming.

She acknowledged huge improvements in Britta Boesing, Kelly Peloquin, and Kristen Pomerleau, saying that they were acting as the “top of the team.”

“It’s good to see they’ll have a great chance at scoring at ACC’s and making the NCAA championships,” she said.

What Shefchunas said was most important about this meet was changing the mindset of the team from last year. Shefchunas, in her first year replacing former Head Coach Mariusz Podkoscielny, noticed there was a severe problem with the team she took over.

“I noticed a feeling as though mediocrity ruled,” Shefchunas said. “It was a culture where no one seemed to care. This team has focused on stepping it up, and I’ve personally noticed there has been a whole team improvement. This team is hungry to be good, to be extraordinary.”

Matthew Bunch may be contacted at m.bunch@umiami.edu.