Ohio Ready To Dive Into H2Okie Invitational

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Next on the docket for Ohio Swimming and Diving is the H2Okie Invitational, starting on Thursday, Nov. 21.

An invitational has a different setup compared to dual or tri-meets in the sense that there is a qualification to make it to finals. The preliminary races are swam in the morning where athletes will then qualify to swim the same race again late in the day.

Thursday will consist of three individual events along with two relays, whereas Friday’s lineup will lengthen with seven events, and Saturday rounds it out with six more races. But that’s just the swimming portion of the event.

The top eight competitors in each of the early races move on to make up the ‘A’ final, the following eight move into the ‘B’ final, and then the 17th to 24th places race in the ‘C’ final.

The only other event in the Bobcats’ schedule that contains both rounds is the Mid-American Conference Championships, adding a heightened anticipation.

“You don’t get to swim finals very often, besides MAC, so you’re all pumped up and on that adrenaline. You’re ready to go,” sophomore Haley Clark said.

Since athletes will be racing multiple times a day, lighter practice loads have been implemented for the Bobcats this week. Interim head coach Derick Roe has allowed the ladies to rest in order to preserve their energy. This will become helpful as each swimmer has the potential of competing in at least six races.

Accompanying the lighter practices is a clear and structured warm up and warm down process has been outlined by coaches. This will help ensure the athletes are taking proper care of their bodies with such frequent extreme use.

“You get finished, you’ve got to go straight over and just swim until you feel better,” Roe explains. “You’re still going to have fatigue that will set in, but it’s really going to help offset a lot of that with doing a proper warm up and warm down.”

Not only does the constant competing take its toll on the body, but also the overall energy of the individual. By Saturday night, after the final races, the swimmers are drained because of the constant exercise at such a high caliber.

“Their bodies are dragging,” Roe said. “It’s all they can do to climb out of the pool and walk over to warm down.”

Along with maintaining their bodies, each athlete has a special focus that will help to make sure they perform at the best of their ability. Sophomore Addison Ferguson will not make it to her main event until Friday, Nov. 22, but will use her first races in the pool to acclimate herself.

“My first day I’ve got to get a feel for the water, second day perform, and third day try to keep up my intensity since I’ll be tired that day,” Ferguson explains.

This three-day lineup is set to take place in Blacksburg, Va., in the homestead of the team credited with the event’s namesake, the Virginia Tech Hokies.