WKU coach Marchionda confident heading into Friday’s meet

Kurt Carson

Many times when a team loses its season-opener, it means the practices ahead are devoted to figuring out what went wrong and making adjustments.

However, Head Coach Bruce Marchionda said that’s not the case for his swim team as it prepares for a tri-meet Friday in Atlanta against Georgia Tech and Clemson.

“Even though we lost last week we felt very good about where we were — how we raced and our times,” Marchionda said. “Sometimes you come away from a loss thinking, ‘What the heck?’ And this wasn’t one of them.”

Marchionda said he can already tell this team is “way ahead” of where it was at this time last year.

“I’m not even sure there is a comparison,” Marchionda said. “That could be because of the level of competition, because we’re trying to step up to that top level of competition.

 “We have a great blend of youth and older leadership. I think we’re in a much better place than we were last year at this point.”

Sophomore swimmer Neal Rushing said he noticed the difference between last year’s team and this year’s team by comparing times from both season-openers.

“It was ridiculous because some of our relays were like five or six seconds faster,” he said. “We’re leaps and bounds ahead of where we were last year.”

Senior captain Georgia Smith said WKU’s performance gives it even more of a competitive nature going into Friday’s meet.

“I think we’re all ready, and with us barely losing it gives us more motivation to get a win this weekend,” Smith said.

Marchionda said the key to getting a win in the tri-meet is simply “staying focused.”

“The only fear I have is if we can turn around and get back up mentally and go after it again,” Marchionda said. “That’s not an easy thing to do. When you try to get up week in and week out it’s tough, so that will be our challenge.”