This weekend marks the beginning of the Georgetown swimming and diving team’s 2015-16 season. The team remains local Friday, with the swimming unit traveling just a few blocks to participate in the Potomac Relays at American University and the diving unit staying on campus to participate in the Potomac Relays at McCarthy Pool. Both units will compete against nearby teams from Towson, George Washington, Mary Washington, American and Mount Saint Mary’s. The team then travels to the University of Delaware to compete in the season’s first dual meet Saturday.
Last Friday’s annual Blue & Gray Intra-Squad Meet is the only competition that the team has encountered thus far. This specific meet is designed to split the Georgetown team into two individual units that compete against one another. Such friendly competition not only provides a unique opportunity for team bonding but also offers a chance for the coaches to set expectations for the teams’ performance in the first few competitions of the new season.
Head Coach Jamie Holder is the latest recipient of the Outstanding Coaching Achievement Award at Georgetown and the Big East Conference’s Men’s Co-Coach of the Year Award. He said that overall, it was an average exhibition of the team’s true potential.
“We had some good swims and some so-so swims,” Holder said. “I’d prefer to be a little further along in terms of our fitness level, but it’s to be expected for only being underway for about three to four weeks. There’s nothing we can do about that; it just takes some time to get back into the swing of things.”
The events this weekend will also help the coaches gauge areas that need to be improved upon in order to eventually establish the team as a leading Big East competitor in the upcoming season. As Friday’s Potomac Relays lack individual events, the meet will put the spotlight on the team as a whole. Essentially, the relay format puts the collective athleticism of the team on full display while forcing individual ability to take a back seat. Holder will approach the challenges of this meet with a relaxed mindset.
“I have very minimal expectations,” Holder said. “I guess the biggest challenge is just figuring out what our lineup is going to be and trying to see as many different swims as we can, because I really don’t know exactly what we have yet because we really haven’t raced much.”
Saturday’s event will debut more individual performances than Friday’s event, as well as additional relays. Fifteen freshmen join their seasoned teammates — many of whom were named Big East All-Conference last season — in striving to outpace their Colonial Athletic Association opponent the University of Delaware, whom they failed to defeat at the beginning of last season. Holder said he knows that Delaware will be a challenge for his team.
“They’ve always been really good since I’ve been here at Georgetown,” Holder said. “I’m just using this as an opportunity to see what my team is like. I know they are going to be fast, but I hope that we can potentially win a few events and see where we are. If we end up on the winning end of things, great. If we don’t, I’m not going to be worried about it.”
Regardless of the outcome of this weekend, Holder has the utmost confidence that his team will ultimately achieve, if not surpass, the success it achieved last season as the second-place team in the Big East. This potential for success, however, not only depends on the team’s athleticism, but also on its dynamics. Luckily, Holder does not seem to be worried by either of those factors.
“I think the freshman are integrating really well,” Holder said. “They seem to be completely at home. We also have really great senior leaders. I think it might be my most talented team since I’ve been here, so I hope to have a good season.”