By Megan Bonney
The Bridgewater State University swimming and diving teams are weeks into the season and already making great progress.The first few meets were strong performances for the men’s and women’s teams, and BSU coach Michael Caruso is thrilled with the results of a new training technique known as Ultra Short Race Pace Training (USRPT). The obstacle to this technique is how the athletes require re-teaching of how practices are structured. A typical swim practice lasts multiple hours at a time, and under USRPT, swimmers undergo an intense race-paced practice that lasts only an hour.
“There’s a lot of change, change is difficult” says Caruso, praising his athletes’ positive response to the unfamiliar approach. Senior Haley Nolan is excited for the change and hopes to make her last season her best. Coach Caruso enters his 8th year as coach of Bridgewater State University and expects improvement and accomplishments out of his team. The Swim and Dive teams are already in position to finish as a top 3 seed for the New England Intercollegiate Swimming and Diving Association (NEISDA) championship meet in February.
The men’s team returns with All-Conference athletes such as seniors Rob McDougall and Jameson Rose, and juniors Dylon Willis and Sean Flaherty. The women’s team returns three All-Conference athletes, Haley Nolan, junior Mackenzie Coogan, and senior Danielle Souza. As a sprint-heavy freestyle group, newcomer Selin Marino projects as a strong addition to the team’s distance arsenal. She is still transitioning to collegiate swimming, though she has a clear approach: “practices are hard but focus on technique. I like that a lot since it will help me later on.”
Key events this year are mostly relays, understandably so for a team known for their teamwork in a sport that is individualized. The men’s 200 and 400-yard medley relays and the women’s 200-yard freestyle and 200-yard medley relays are promising with their depth of sprint swimmers. Caruso and the team are working to remain focused, excited, and united through the four-month journey ahead to the NEISDA championships.
Their next event at Dr. Mary Jo Moriarty Pool is Wednesday, November 7th, where Bridgewater State takes on Wheaton College at 6pm. Come by if you would like to support your Bears!
Megan Bonney is a Staff Writer for The Comment