Seniors’ last strokes

It’s the beginning of the end as tomorrow evening marks the beginning of the last Mid-American Conference season for the seven seniors on BG’s swimming and diving team.

“This year has already been hard for me,” one of BG’s three captains Kim Albin said. “Swimming has been a part of my life for 15 years, and for it to be gone like that is a life transition.”

“Not being able to see the girls every single day is not going to be the same,” senior Christina Vaca said.

Despite the emotion attached to their final season, the seniors are ready to get things going and put all their hard work to use.

“The beginning of the season is always the hardest,” Vaca said. “But when you finally get to put your training to use is when it starts to get really fun.”

The seven seniors are a vital part of the team, according to coach Keri Buff, who said the team will appreciate every meet they have with them and that they are a big part of what BG swimming and diving is about.

The Falcons will travel tomorrow to swim against the two-time defending MAC champions, Eastern Michigan.

“You train to swim your best, so why not race against the best?” Vaca said. “It’s a great way to put all of our training to use immediately.”

The Falcons also traveled to EMU last year for a dual meet, but lost nine of 16 races in a 168-128 loss.

So far this year, EMU is 2-0 after defeating non-conference opponents Wisconsin-Milwaukee (134-97) and Wayne State (145-87).

This year, Albin said she believes BG will be able to keep up with EMU despite the fact that they are expected to again be the best MAC team.

“Knowing that this year we are going to be able to hold with them is a positive feeling,” Albin said.

On Saturday, BG will move south to Ball State for a dual meet in BSU’s tough home waters.

Last season, the Falcons swam to just five wins against BSU in a 190-110 losing effort at their own pool, and Buff expects a similar challenge this season.

“Ball State swims really well in their home pool,” Buff said. “It’ll be a great test to our team.”

BSU has swam in one dual meet this year, posting a win against Eastern Illinois (143-85).

The Falcons are coming off a dominating performance from two weeks ago at the Tom Stubbs Relays, where they won nine of 10 relays and posted several personal best times in their home pool.

But despite the long layoff between meets, Buff doesn’t think the team has lost the momentum it gained at the relays.

“I think that [the Stubbs] set us up really well with out first meet,” Buff said. “We used [the weekend off] to get better training-wise.”

BG’s season will kick off at 5 p.m. Friday and continue at 1 p.m. Saturday before it heads back home to BG on Nov. 9 and 10.