SWIMMING: Two-year streak snapped

Wes Watt

Western’s mens’ swimming team did something over the weekend it hasn’t done in over two years.

It lost a dual meet.

The last loss Western suffered came at the hands of Georgia Tech on January 2, 2002. The Toppers went into Saturday’s meet hoping to keep its win streak alive.

Wright State had other plans.

Western jumped ahead early only to see the lead slip away in the final four events of the meet. The loss ended its 19-meet win streak as the Raiders handed Western a 128-115 loss.

Coach Bill Powell said the lead slipped because his team was fatigued and was unable to finish the meet strong.

The team was coming off its toughest practice schedule of the year: a grueling non-stop, 10-day training trip in Sarasota, Fla.

“We just ran out of gas,” Powell said. “I really think we were the better team. We just didn’t swim well.”

The Toppers traveled 13 and 1/2 hours to arrive in Bowling Green on Wednesday, practiced Thursday and left for Wright State on Friday. The long hours on the road provided the Toppers with little rest before the meet on Saturday.

“Sometimes you sacrifice a meet to do better in conference,” Powell said. “Losses are not always bad.”

Here is what is bad. Freshman sensation Nic Hurt was ineligible for the meet because he was unable to make up a test over the holiday break.

Hurt is scheduled to make up the test this week and a passing grade is needed to return to the team.

The women took seven of the 13 first-place finishes to win 142-101.

Powell said a mental edge played a part Saturday, because Western trounced the Raiders last season by 42 points.

“The Wright State girls were intimidated,” Powell said. “They thought they were going to lose.”

Freshman swimmer Jennifer Johnson led the team with first- place finishes in the 200-yard freestyle and 200-yard butterfly.

“It feels good,” Johnson said. “Especially since we worked so hard the past two weeks.”

Reach Wes Watt at [email protected]