The men and women of Drexel swimming recently kicked off the start of their season with their first meet and victory against Widener at Chester, Pa. Oct. 19 at home. The Dragons won 110-89 on the women’s side while the men also dominated the Pride with a score of 104-80. The team is prepared to get back in the water this weekend where they will host their meet against Philadelphia rival La Salle Oct. 22 at 1 p.m.
During the 2010-11 fall season, both men and women opened up with outstanding victories over Widener at Drexel Pool. The men triumphed with a score of 144-106, while the women also had an impressive score of 146-108. This year, the Dragons triumphed by placing first in 14 out of the 22 events.
When the Dragons traveled a short distance to La Salle’s pool during last year’s season, both the men and women fell short of coming home with a win. The men were at a loss with a 186-114 decision, and the women fell to a decision of 174-120. While there were impressive wins on the men’s side by then-sophomore Doga Celik and now-graduated Sherif Madkour in multiple events, the day still finished with a disappointing loss. Jenna Seitz of the women’s team also added to the victories the Dragons were able to put under their belt that day.
With the upperclassmen making up a solid core for the team’s prevalence, the new freshmen are also adding to the strong chemistry the Dragons have comprised so far this year. The 5K run the team completed just a few short weeks ago gave them a huge test of fitness and capability to get ready for the long season ahead. Head coach Shawn Markey said events like those are essential to improve the team’s communication and physicality before the season really gets underway.
“We try to do as much as possible outside the water since swimming is so individualized,” he said. “We are also doing a rock climb next week on the climbing will with Paul Haraf in the Recreation Center.”
Markey had a great amount of things to say about the progress this team has made from last year and even from just a few weeks ago at practice. He stated that the team is as strong as they have ever been at this point in the season.
“We are putting up some exceptional times in practice, times that would win us event in dual meets,” Markey said.
Since many schools begin training before Drexel teams do, due to the different academic schedules, it usually acts as an obstacle for the Dragons to catch up to the endurance and fitness levels of other teams. Markey mentioned that teams like LaSalle have a few extra weeks to prepare and get race-ready. However, he is looking forward to matching up against these Philadelphia rivals again.
“This year the team came back to practice strong, and we accelerated our training programs in order to be more prepared for the early season dual meets,” he said.
With Markey as a former swimmer here at Drexel, he has dealt with hearing the best pieces of advice throughout his athletic career. He passes on the advice to be 100 percent committed to excellence and intensity. For every practice, he enforces the importance of approaching the pool with ferocity and a positive attitude.
“I also want them to approach practice like students, with a focus on constant learning and progression,” Markey added.
Even though it is still very early in the fall season, it doesn’t mean that the team should approach these meets with less intensity than any Colonial Athletic Association meets. These early meets are to prove where the team stands as a foundation at the beginning of the year. Above all, these dual meets are a run-through for the CAA Championship meet in February.
“We evaluate each swimmer throughout the course of the season in order to get every opportunity to swim fast at the end of the year,” Markey said. “The meets are also important in order to create a supportive team atmosphere where the swimmers get up and cheer on their teammates.”
Mark your calendar for Oct. 22 to see the Drexel swimmers conquer LaSalle in our home pool.