Ohio Swimming

Ohio Swimming

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Lady Bobcats Head to the New River for a Team Building Trip

The Lady Bobcats traveled to the New River Gorge in West Virginia for their annual team building weekend. The trip consisted of camping, a rafting adventure down the New River, discussions about "What it means to be a Bobcat...", and some quality time away from campus before the season and classes get into full swing.

The team left campus on Friday afternoon and arrived at the camping area around dinner time. After some food prep and grilling, it was time to eat dinner and some casual visiting around the camp fire. Saturday began with breakfast and a team building exercise that started in small groups, led by the seniors. The theme of the day was "Tradition", something that continues to be very important to the Swimming & Diving program!

Following lunch, the team prepared for a beautiful day of rafting. There was no shortage of time in the water and "paddle wars" that resulted in some VERY wet team members and coaches! The remainder of the day was spent preparing dinner and sharing stories about "Being a Bobcat".

The team all geared up and ready to battle the rapids!

The team left "their mark" after our final team building exercise.

A little quality time between the rapids...the water felt great!

Talk about team bonding! There is no separating these girls!

The bus ride back after rafting...everyone was all smiles :)

One of our 4 team rafts. What a fine looking group!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

"Why Ohio University?" by Senior Rachel Heim

After another standout season, senior Rachel Heim is looking ahead to her final season as a Bobcat. At the 2010 MAC Championships, Rachel won the 100 back, 100 fly, and 200 fly on her way to being named the MAC Co-Swimmer of the Year. She is a 6-time individual MAC champion, current MAC record holder in the 100 fly, 100 back, & 200 free relay, and a 3-time NCAA Academic All-American. Last week at the Sonoco National Swimming Championships in Irvine, California, Rachel placed 21st in the 100 fly while posting a lifetime best 1:00.43.

"I first found out about Ohio University through recruiting information and phone calls. I met Brian and Greg at Juniors Nationals in California during the summer prior to my senior year. Being a San Diego native, I had no intention of going to Ohio ("the middle of nowhere" to me at the time), but I was open to trying something new. The coaches were persistent in calling me after we met at Juniors, but I still didn't think I would want to live in Ohio. I was hesitant to commit to an official visit but finally decided to make Ohio my final visit.

I arrived for my trip and met up with another recruit and Brian, the assistant coach, and we began the journey from the airport to OU. The car ride went pretty quickly. There never was (and still never is) a lack of conversation with Brian. We drove by campus on our way to our hotel, since our trip did not officially begin until the next day. I was amazed at how beautiful the campus was from a distance. Immediately from one look I felt something inside me say, "I could go to school here," which shocked me because I thought I already knew where I wanted to go.

The rest of the trip was a blur. The team was amazing....like one big family! Everything I had liked at other schools was at OU, and it was even more pronounced. The coaches and swimmers were on great terms, the academics were perfect, the atmosphere was warm and welcoming, the school was beautiful, and I felt like I could contribute to and improve on this team. I went to the airport knowing that if I could afford it, this was where I wanted to spend the next 4 years of my life.

Having been at Ohio for 3 years, I know without a shadow of a doubt that I am at the best place in the nation for me. Academically I have been challenged, and I have excelled. I have made friendships that will last a lifetime. I have more memories that I can count. I am currently a leader in Athletes in Action, an international Bible study for athletes, and I have built relationships with athletes beyond the swim team and OU. At Ohio, I have also found the man that I intend to spend the rest of my life with. I honestly cannot imagine what my life would look like today if I didn't take that recruiting trip.

One thing I noticed as a club swimmer was that the quality of my relationship with my coach affected my performance as an athlete, and so in college, I wanted to make sure that I had a coach that would work with me. It was really hard to figure something like that out on a recruiting trip that lasted less than 48 hours. I'm happy to say that I found it at Ohio and it's one thing I know has been influential in the success I have had. We both invest countless hours into training and improving, and we share in the successes and disappointments throughout the year. Our coaches care about us as individuals and know that things in our personal lives will affect our performances. I know for a fact that you can't find this at every school and I would say that it is one of the best things about swimming for Ohio University."

Meet Our Coaches - Diving Coach Russ Dekker

Russ Dekker will begin his 7th season as the head diving coach at Ohio University this fall. Since arriving in Athens, Russ has added strength and consistency to the diving program by bringing in some of the top recruits in the conference. This past season, he guided divers Lindsay Hamilton and MaryRose Hilstrom to school records on both 1-meter and 3-meter, on their way to competing at the NCAA Zone C Diving Championships.

Prior to his time at Ohio, Russ spend 3 seasons as the men's & women's diving coach at the University of Wyoming. The team regularly placed divers on the Mountain West all-conference team. His time at Wyoming was highlighted by having 6 divers qualify for the 2004 NCAA Zone E Diving Championships.

Russ began his coaching career in Michigan as an assistant with the Legacy and Chippewa Diving clubs & Ypsilanti High School. He coached 3 Michigan State High School diving championships, 9 NISCA All-Americans, and the 2001 national high school runner-up while at Ypsilanti. He was named the Michigan State High School Diving Coach of the Year in 1999 and 2000. While coaching with the Legacy Diving Club, Russ coached 11 junior national qualifiers and 3 senior national qualifiers.

Russ competed collegiately at Eastern Michigan University. He was a 4-time NCAA zone qualifier, a 3-time Mid-American Conference (MAC) All-Academic selection, and the 1995 MAC Diver of the Year. Russ was also a member of 3 MAC team championships while at Eastern Michigan.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

"Why Ohio University?" by Senior Amanda Traylor

Senior Amanda Traylor will be competing this week at the Sonoco National Swimming Championships in Irvine, California. After a very impressive junior year, Amanda is looking forward to her final season as a Bobcat. She finished 2nd in the 500 free and 200 free, 4th in the 1650 free, and was a member of the 800 free relay team that placed 2nd at the 2010 MAC Championships. Her performances earned her the honor of being named First Team All-MAC. Amanda is the current school record holder in the 200 free and 400 IM. The Los Alamitos, California native takes some time to reflect on her time as a Ohio Bobcat:

"Ohio University was recently named the top college for overall student satisfaction and happiness. After my short three years here in Athens, I can wholeheartedly support that statement. Coming from a sunshine state where most people dream of going, not leaving, I am often asked the question, 'Why Ohio?'

The first time I heard of Ohio University was via brochure. One of those general ones that come in masses your junior and senior years of high school. It was a pretty campus, but Ohio? When I began talking with the coaches on the phone, I began to see that the program was one I would fit in with well. I got along with Greg and Brian right off the bat. They have helped me with stroke technique, strength and endurance, and confidence among many other things. I can honestly say that I have done things here that I never thought possible and I am extremely grateful to have such a supportive coaching staff. The team doesn't just work hard, they like to have their fun as well. Everyone is very laid back and comfortable with each other. It is like having a second family.

The swim meets during my time here have been some of the best moments. MACs is by far the most exciting and spirited competition I have attended. Swimming may be viewed as an individual sport, but it is at this meet that you really see the importance of having a team cheering each other on every race, every dive. Ohio University is not well known for swimming and diving; however, the program is up-and-coming and I see the talent and hard work on a daily basis. OU, along with the MAC conference, is becoming a presence at bigger meets and I am proud to be a part of it.

Another attractive aspect of OU was its amazing exercise physiology program, which is the major I chose (pre-physical therapy). Through my courses, I have gained hands on experience in the classroom and in the community. My professors have been approachable and have helped me balance being a Division I athlete and a devoted student. Now that I am applying for graduate school, my advisor, and even some professors, are helping me with the difficult process.

As I am finishing out my times here as a Bobcat, I constantly wonder where the time went. It seems like just yesterday that I was walking onto campus as a nervous freshman. I have learned so much and have made so many memories that I wouldn't trade for the world. The recent ranking of Ohio University as the college with the most satisfied and happiest students has been long deserved. Ask any alumni you meet!

--Amanda Traylor

Meet Our Coaches - Assistant Coach Brian Peresie

Assistant Coach Brian Peresie will begin his 8th season in his current role with the Bobcats this fall. Since returning to Athens in 2003, Brian has played a vital role in the continued success of the program. During his first season, he was the primary coach for the distance group. The following season Brian began working with the sprint group and has helped build one of most dominant sprint programs in the conference. One of the highlights of the 2010 Women's MAC Championships for the team was the 200 free relay team, who broke the school and conference records in a time of 1:30.05! The performance ranked the Bobcats 15th in the country in the event at the time and would have placed 10th at the NCAA Championships!

Brian's career at Ohio initially began in 1996 as a member of the Men's Swimming & Diving program. He was a four-year letter winner for the Bobcats, and was voted team captain as a junior and senior. After finishing his eligibility in 2000, Brian stayed on as a student assistant while he finished his degree.

Following graduation, he moved to northern Ohio and began coaching at Lake Shore Swim Club in Rocky River as an age group assistant coach. This experience led them to Ashland University, where he was named the assistant coach and took on the responsibilities of recruiting coordinator. The program improved tremendously during his two seasons, and their success was highlighted by 19 NCAA Division II All-American performances and 11 school records.

Brian lives in Athens with his wife Emily and their two sons, Brayden and Blake.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Meet Our Coaches - Head Coach Greg Werner

The 2010-11 season will mark Greg Werner's 16th season as the head coach at Ohio University. Under Coach Werner's direction, the Bobcats have won the Mid-American Conference (MAC) Women's Championship in 2000, 2001, and 2008 while placing 2nd in 11 other Championships. The team's success is no surprise when you look at the number of stand-outs that have worn Ohio's green and white over the years. Coach Werner has coached 7 MAC Swimmers of the Year, 8 MAC Outstanding Senior Award winners, 19 Academic All-Americans, and 1 All-American.

In addition to his head coaching responsibilities at Ohio, Greg has had the opportunity to work with USA Swimming as a staff member on 10 USA National Team trips. Most recently, he traveled to Rome, Italy for the 2009 World Championship. Greg also traveled to the 2005 World Championships in Montreal, Canada and to the 2007 Championships in Melbourne, Australia. These international experiences have allowed Greg to work with not only the best coaches in country, but many of the top coaches in the world.

Greg came to Ohio University prior to the 1994-95 season following 8 seasons as the women's head assistant coach at Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas, Texas. During his time at SMU, the team ranked in the top-4 at the NCAA Championships for 4 consecutive seasons and earned over 75 All-American honors. Prior to his time in Dallas, Greg coached 2 seasons for the T.O.P Swim Team in Portland, Oregon and served as the student-assistant coach at South Carolina during the 1984-85 season.

Greg's swimming career began back in his hometown of Moraga, California. He was a high school All-American at Campolindo High School and went on to swim for the University of South Carolina. While at USC, he served as team captain during the 1983-84 season, helped lead his team to a conference championship and qualified for the NCAA Championships. Greg earned his degree in hotel, restaurant, and tourism administration from South Carolina in 1985.

Greg lives in Athens with his wife, Courtney...they got married in June!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Welcome to Ohio Bobcats Swimming & Diving!

Welcome to the Ohio Bobcats Swimming & Diving blog! The Ohio University Swimming & Diving program has a rich history and we are looking forward to sharing our story with all of you in the upcoming months. Before we begin to talk about the past, we will introduce you to our coaching staff and current team members, highlight the summer long course season, and give you a preview of the upcoming collegiate season. We hope you enjoy!