By Marc Weems
Youngstown State University’s swimming and diving team starts its season after a recording-breaking 2015-16 season. The team broke eight records (a school record) in one calendar year. The team will be looking to build off such a strong season by getting better.
Despite the solid performances, Oakland University grabbed the Horizon League title. YSU opens its season at the Tom Stubbs Relays on Friday. Head coach Matt Anderson said the team “had a really good year last year” but wants to see if the team could make the next step this season.
“We had eight school records, so we finished off really well. We are definitely looking forward to building on that,” Anderson said. “We are returning all of our points from our championship meet, so we have a good basis to work off of.”
Juniors Madison Aranda and Viktoria Orosz led the way in getting most of those school records.
Aranda talked about the upcoming season and the way they can build upon eight school records and go for even more.
“As a team, I would say that our goal is to definitely place higher at conference than we did last year,” Aranda said. “Our goal is third, and we really want to get there. I feel like we are really fired up. We have a new assistant coach, and she seems to be really getting everyone going.”
Orosz also talked about additions to their training and everyday routines to make the team better.
“We have a new lifting coach for our strength and conditioning. I think it’s good for us,” Orosz said. “Our program changed a lot, and we have a lot of potential. I think this will help us quite a lot.”
Anderson talked about the returning players and how they will mesh with the group of incoming freshmen.
“We are returning everyone that was involved with our school records. So we have a very strong base returning and then adding in a really strong freshmen class,” Anderson said. “We are going to see just how good they can be when they are all done. It’s very exciting to think of.”
YSU added six freshmen to this year’s roster. Orosz talked about the upcoming freshmen class and how their competition will push the rest of the team.
“It means a lot. In practice, we have more competition, and we can push each other more,” Orosz said. “We have more opportunities to race each other and get better.”
Aranda talked about the mentoring opportunities that come with a strong freshmen class.
“I feel like this group, even more than the last group of freshmen, seems to be very independent and quite knowledgeable. Normally freshmen have a hard time getting going,” Aranda said. “As far as mentoring, just helping each other through the nerves of the first conference meet. I was freaking out as a freshman.”
Anderson spoke about both of the swimmers, along with the other upperclassmen about their leadership and how that will pertain to winning more.
“Succeeding is something that we shoot for every year. To be setting records and then improving while the team is improving,” Anderson said. “We are returning the two best girls maybe in school history with Aranda and Orosz. We are also adding in a good, strong group of freshmen, which will make this upcoming season very interesting.”