Oakland swimming opens season

By Jessica Wilson

Contributing Reporter

The room fell silent and the water still as head coach Pete Hovland gave the speech to “kick off” the new season. The crowd was filled with smiles from alumni, students and parents of the swimmers. When the speech finished, the 2007-08 season had begun.

The Oakland University swim team held the annual Black and Gold Intrasquad Meet on Friday, September 26 in the O’rena. This gave new and returning swimmers a chance to test the water for the upcoming year.

“I think that the Black and Gold meet is so important to us, it is a great teaching tool for the staff,” Hovland said. “We didn’t talk a lot before the meet, we just wanted to observe.”

There were many new freshmen making their first appearances as a Golden Grizzly. Freshman Nicole Salmeto took first in the 200-yard IM with a time of 2:15.35.  Joe Rogers took first in the 200-yard breaststroke with at time of 2:12.34 and the 200-yard IM at 1:59.08.

“Swimming is an individual sport, and this [meet] kind of turns it into a team effort,” Hovland said. “We have great leadership on the team… Leaders dictate the attitude and help with direction. They can help the freshman from stubbing their toes too many times.”

“It was a good for team building, the spirit of competition is great for it,” sophomore Natalie Torano said.

The Black team took a total of 104 points to the Gold team’s 100. However, the story of the event was less about winners and losers and more about team unity.

“It was motivating because the team looks more united and stronger than last year,” junior Eddie Toro said.

This meet was just the start of a whole new twenty-four week season. They hope to have another victorious year.

“The majority [of the swimmers] are starting all over. Practices are going to get intense really quick… we are trying to prepare them mentally for what is going to hit them in the next couple of weeks,” Hovland said.