For Keene State College swimming, the fall season has come to an end with their invitational meet at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and thus the focus is shifting for the athletes to the winter season that will take off on Jan. 10.
In the moment it is obvious that the swimmers are looking forward to getting some time off for winter break, but even before the rest of the students return to campus, the swim and diving team will have two meets under their belts.
They are set to take on Roger Williams University on Jan. 10, followed by Bentley University on Jan. 13.
This will be coming after the rather average fall season for KSC, on the men’s side they came off of losses to Boston College, and Wheaton College, however they saw wins against St. Michael’s and Colby Sawyer College.
The women’s program followed the same result line, and both had some hiccups at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Invitational.
One of those hiccups was the illness that struck standout 200 meter fly and 400 Individual Medley swimmer, Kyle Shadeck.
Shadeck, a sophomore, put on a great performance for the season opener, where he won three individual races and was integral in the relay he competed in.
Upon talking with Shadeck he called the fall season average but he said he “had some breakthroughs in training and in dual meets so (he) was able to learn some things,” despite his sickness for the MIT meet.
He said, “For the winter season I am hoping to fine tune some of the smaller details of my events such as my turns and breathing pattern, as well as making sure I’m staying healthy for the entirety of the rest of the season.”
Some goals that Shadeck talked about for himself and the team consisted of qualifying for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) championships in March and for the team, placing in the top three at New England Intercollegiate Swimming and Diving Association (NEISDA) in February.
Although lofty, these are very attainable goals for Shadeck and his team, however they must all be dedicated and willing to push through the long and draining season that is the swim and dive one.
With meets occurring from October through March, the season asks a lot from the athletes both mentally and physically.
With very early morning practices, long hours, and the need to stick to a regulated food plan, the swim and dive schedule is not a forgiving one.
For the future of the program, it is clear that if they are able to continue recruiting at the caliber they have been, that it will prove to only grow in its success under Coach Chris Woolridge.
Shadeck was able to describe his coach as, “a great coach that knows how to bring the best out of people, and I have grown quite a bit as a person and as an athlete thanks to him in just the year and a half that I’ve been here.”
Woolridge, a KSC graduate himself, took over the position of head coach after a year as the interim head coach, in July of 2016.
He is coach for both the men and women’s programs and looks forward to the upcoming winter season after the winter break.
Jacey Chavez can be contacted at email@example.com