Over Winter Term, the Yeomen traveled to Florida, trained hard and accumulated four dual-meet victories.
Oberlin finished its dual-meet season with the superb record of 8-2. Its only losses came to 17-time defending National Champion Kenyon College on Jan. 24 and defending Conference Champion Denison University in December. Both losses were expected.
The first week of Winter Term, Jan. 3-8, the team traveled to Florida where they trained at a 50-meter long, indoor pool at the Long Center in Clearwater, Fla. Everyday, the Men's swimming team ate up some 12,000 meters, 240 laps or approximately 7.5 miles.
A week later, the Yeomen returned to Ohio, worn out and ready to take on some subpar competition.
On Jan. 10, the Yeomen were surprised by Case Western Reserve University, but managed to escape with a 109-96 victory over the fired up Spartans.
Over the next two weeks the Yeomen blew through the subpar competition that they were expecting. Jan. 14 the team whooped on a depleted Mount Union College squad 130-93. Then on Jan. 27, the Yeomen beat Edinboro State University in their first ever meeting with the Edinboro of Pennsylvania 128-98.
Jan. 23 the team traveled to John Carroll University in Cleveland for an easy 136-99 victory. After four wins against some easy game, Oberlin got to compare itself to the benchmark in Division III swimming as they suffered a 156-113 thrashing at the hands of Kenyon College.
Against CWRU, in their first meet of 1998, the men fell behind the Spartans as they fell in three of the first four events.
"They have a solid team," co-captain senior Josh Davis said. "For awhile I thought we would lose."
The meet would be Oberlin's only close contest of Winter Term.
On Jan. 14, Mount Union College was blown out of the water by Oberlin 130-93. Mt. Union showed up late, with only half their squad and passed up a chance to warm-up. According to Josh Davis, their coach expected them to lose.
"The coach had a negative attitude," Davis said. "It was like she was embarrassed by her team."
Out of sportsmanship, the Yeomen exhibitioned the final three events of the meet.
Against Edinboro State in their first ever meeting on Jan. 17, the Yeomen breezed to another comfortable victory, 128-98.
First-year John Limouze swam an incredible 10:02.19 in his first ever 1000-yard freestyle to win and won the 200-yard backstroke in 2:03.91.
"Limouze has done some phenomenal things this year," Michaels said.
Against John Carroll University on Jan. 23, Limouze swam the 500-yard freestyle butterfly and finished second place with a time of 5:12.48.
In the meet, the Yeomen dismantled JCU 136-99.
Against defending Division III NCAA Champions Kenyon College at Carr Pool the Yeomen were ready to get rocked. Without bothering to bring their full team and only bringing a few of their many All-Americans, Kenyon humbled Oberlin 156-113 and gained some value experience at the pool of the Conference Championships.
The Yeomen rose to the occasion against the mighty Lords. Limouze had a great meet against was pumped up to show Kenyon what they missed when he chose Oberlin over Kenyon.
Limouze started it off with a win in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 53.45 and then swam his fastest-unshaved time in the 200-yard butterfly of 1:55.90, almost an NCAA-cut to take first by over five seconds. A lifetime-best of 2:00.63 in the 200-yard IM was good enough for second and a time of 2:01.34 in the 200-yard backstroke held true for another.
Other bright spots for the Yeomen included senior Eric Grasha, who in the last dual-meet of his career continued to drop in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 59.23 for third and went a fast 2:05.77 in the 200-yard backstroke.
First-year diver Aaron Hillyer added two victories in the one- and three-meter diving competitions as he dove uncontested.
Over Winter Term with all that yardage, especially at Florida, the Yeomen were swimming tired, finally the end the Conference Championships are in sight and the team has begun to taper and rest for the meet, the NCAC Swimming and Diving Championships which will be held next weekend: Feb. 12, 13 and 14 at Carr Pool. The Yeomen rested, full-muscled and shaved will attempt to take third place.
According to Coach Michaels, it's the only meet that matters.
Fly away home: A might Yeoman practiced his butterfly this week. The Yeomen are hosting the Conference Championships next week where some hope to qualify for Nationals. (photo by INSERT_PHOTOGRAPHER)
Copyright © 1998, The Oberlin Review.
Volume 126, Number 13, February 6, 1998
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