Oakland swimming and diving ranked in top 15 mid-major poll



Both the Oakland men’s and women’s swim and diving teams received a top 15 ranking in Mid-Major Division I by collegeswimming.com, solidifying themselves as one of the top programs in the country.

The women’s swim and dive team was ranked 13, while the men’s team ranked 14.

“I think its kind of confirmation that we’re amongst some of the top teams in the country and I think that’s good,” Pete Hovland, swim and dive head coach said. “We want to be top 30 in the country, not just top 15 in mid-major, so in order for us to be top 30 we need to be a top mid-major team in the country.”

Though the ranking is a step in the right direction, senior Tim Montague wants more.

“The college ranking system is bittersweet,” he said. “Although we are excited to be recognized on the national level, we would always like to be ranked higher no matter how we place. We use it as motivation to increase our performance so that we will be better when the new ratings come out.”

The ranking is based off of their first dual-meet, according to Hovland. This is the first ranking of the season and there are three more that remain.

“Well it’s the first one of the year so basically we’re being based on our performance at this point in time and I think it’s pretty accurate” Hovland said. “I don’t think it’s where we want to be at the end of the year, but for now, it’s nice to be sitting amongst the top 15 mid-major teams in the country and it’s something we’ll strive to get better at.”

The second ranking will be based on this weekend’s upcoming swim meet at the Eastern Michigan Invitational and Hovland said it is one of the most important invites of the season.

“Next week is one of those markers, it’s mid-season for us,” he said. “We focus on two things during the course of the year and that’s the invitational the first weekend of December and the conference championships in February. This is that first point in the year that we use the invitational.”

Although it is a big invitational and one of the most important of the year, Hovland hopes for good performances from his team, but not the best they have.

“Hopefully it’s not their best performance of the year and we save that for February,” Hovland said, “but we’re hoping the kids have all-seasonal best times all year and as a staff we’ll see where our training has gone and reshape what we may need to do differently.”

After the Eastern Michigan Invitational, Hovland will have a five day mini-camp before the swimmers return home for Christmas break. After Christmas, the team will be back in the pool for an intensive training camp until school starts in January.

“In our sport, the way swimmers train, we tell the kids at the beginning of the year, that it’s a marathon, it’s not a sprint and we want to peak physically and emotionally in February,” Hovland said. “So this is a step along the way and hopefully in December and January, we get a little bit better, and in February we’re at our best.”

In order to continue their success in the Summitt League and make a run as a top swim and dive school, Montague thinks team camaraderie will be key.

“On a daily basis we need to concentrate on the things that we can control,” he said. “In the long run, we need to just continue being great friends and teammates with each other. A great team evokes an environment that benefits every aspect of our season, from recruiting to morale to performance and the end of the year.”

The swim and dive team’s invitational at Eastern Michigan begins Dec. 3, at 10 a.m. at Jones Nataorium, in Ypsilianti.