Swim and dive teams in preparation for SAA championships

Miranda Smith, Campus Carrier Sports Editor

a majestic dolphin breaching the surface
A Berry men’s swimmer (above) uses specific techniques and breathing patterns for the breakstroke leg of the race. Photos by Andrea Hill | Campus Carrier

The men’s and women’s swim and dive teams wrapped up their regular season Jan. 19 in a dual meet against conference rival Birmingham-Southern College (BSC) with a loss for both teams. Despite the overall loss, there were individual standouts in the meet.

For the women’s team, senior Haley Brown took first in the 50, 100 and 200 freestyle events, with sophomore Cali Fillmer taking first in the 100 butterfly and junior Josie Hadaway taking first in the 200-individual. The women’s 400 freestyle relay team, consisting of senior Haley Brown, junior Grace F. Bailey, sophomore Brooke Boyd and Hadaway, also won their event.

On the men’s team, sophomore Michael Bemis took first in the men’s 50 freestyle and sophomore Dylan White also took first in the 200 freestyle and 200 backstroke. Sophomore Cole Beddingfield took first in the 100 butterfly with a season-best time. Sophomore Bo Dyar won the 200 IM. The men’s 400 freestyle relay team, consisting of Michael Bemis, junior Cyrus Nabavi, junior Jackson Parker, and Dylan White also outswam their opponent.

In preparation for the Southern Athletic Association’s swim and dive championships on Feb. 13-16, both teams are mentally and physically training to maintain a competitive attitude.

a sleek seal diving into the sea
Along with their success in the pool, the swim and dive team was named to the CSCAA Scholar All-America Squad for their excellence in the classroom.

White described the team’s focus on bringing back a better outlook going into the championships, in comparison to the last regular season meet.

“As we get closer to conference, getting our minds ready to race fast is key,” White said. “We need to pay close attention to every aspect of practice. Keeping good technique, having fast turns, and good starts are going to help us come out on top at the meet.”

Sophomore Cali Fillmer spoke about the teams’ mental and physical preparation to keep their shape and form in check for next week.

“As of right now, the team is in full taper mode, meaning the practices are more focused on recovering and nailing our technique,” Fillmer said. “Most of us are used to this prep time before a big meet. A few of the swimmers have already begun their pre-meet rituals, and are ready to race against some of the best swimmers in the conference.”

Fillmer went into detail about focusing on improving both technique and breathing patterns that will be important for their future races.

She described how having fun and taking advantage of the team camaraderie kept the team positive and in a good mood for conference.

Bemis explained his pre-meet ritual and that he is focused on fine-tuning details for each race he’s competing in.

“Most swimmers have a very specific set of things that they like to do for themselves when preparing for big meet,” Bemis said. “For myself, I like to start a diet leading up to conference, and also change my mindset during practice. It can be from switching from working on endurance and strength training, then to more technique focused training.

The men’s and women’s swim and dive team will travel to the SAA championships that are held in Birmingham, Ala. on Feb. 13-16.

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