The Truman State University men’s and women’s swimming teams took on the William Jewell College Cardinals last weekend, racing in unfamiliar conditions. They competed at William Jewell and practiced in a short-course meters pool.
A short-course meters pool is 25 meters in length, in comparison to Truman’s short-course yards pool which is 25 yards in length — the standard size used throughout the NCAA. Short-course yards records are traditionally faster than short-course meters records, since yards are slightly shorter than meters.
The 25 meter length of William Jewell’s pool converts to 27.34 yards- nearly two and a half yards longer than the length of Truman’s pool. To put this into perspective, the time difference between a 100 yard freestyle and a 100 meter freestyle is typically around eight seconds- the 100 meter freestyle taking the eight seconds longer to complete. Truman’s teams knew this could be a challenge heading into the meet.
Interim head coach Jerod Simek said both teams did a good job adjusting to the different-sized pool. He said the extra two and half yards might have affected their performances. This especially applied to the men, losing some races by tenths of seconds.
Though the women’s team was able to pull out the win with a 168-94 finish, the men’s team came up short to the Cardinals with a final score of 151-111. Simek said losing is never fun, but he thinks good can come from it.
“It lit a fire under [the men’s team] for the next upcoming meet,” Simek said. “As well as for Senior Day in January when we face [William Jewell] again — this time in our own pool.”
The men won four events, including junior Sam Heveroh in the 50-meter freestyle, sophomore Lliot Gieseke in the 100-free, and junior JT Thayer in the 200-free. Truman’s 400-free relay team — composed of junior Caleb Kruse, Heveroh, Thayer and Gieseke — won with a time of 3:32.53.
Heveroh said the 400-free relay was exciting because it was neck and neck to the end. He said the team never gave up a second during that race but made their opponents work throughout the race. He said he equally enjoyed winning the relay and the 50-free, especially when competing against a conference rival like William Jewell.
Heveroh said the men’s team learned to race while extremely tired, and in a non-standard-sized pool.
As for the women’s team, Simek said the dominating win came down to execution. The women executed their race strategies well, which ultimately led to their success in this meet, regardless of pool size.
The women were victorious in 11 events with wins from senior Jasmine Roghair in the 800-meter freestyle at 9:23.89 and sophomore Mikayla Kempf in the 200-meter backstroke at 2:25.78. Senior Nikki Sisson dominated the 200-free and 400-free with times of 2:13.27 and 4:41.42, respectively.
Sisson said it was nice to focus on feel and strategy rather than times because they were competing on short-course meters in a dual meet. She said she was proud of the way her team performed under these circumstances.
All in all, Sisson said it was fun racing against GLVC competition once more before the team takes some time to rest and refocus their attention on the midseason TYR Invitational.
The Bulldogs will head to Evanston, Illinois, for the TYR invitational meet Nov. 17-19. Simek said they will have to do some preparation for it in practice.
“It’s going to be a puzzle for sure,” Simek said. “We’ll have some swimmers doing shorter distances and some doing longer, so we’ll see how they’ll be able to handle it for the [TYR] invite.”