By: Tyler Young, Staff Writer
Towson concluded its regular season by competing in the six-team Virginia Tech Invitational in Blacksburg, Virginia over the weekend.
“It was a great meet,” Head Coach Pat Mead said. “I haven’t done the math yet, but I want to say something like 85 percent of our swimmers set lifetime bests. Obviously, you strive for 100 percent, but 85 percent is still huge.”
While Mead was happy with the team’s performance as a whole, there were three swimmers that stood out: Sophomore Melissa Toy, sophomore Ryan Martin and freshman Nick Essing.
Mead selected who will compete in the upcoming conference meet a few weeks ago, excluding the aforementioned trio. However, Mead said their performances in Blacksburg left him second-guessing himself.
“Those three swam so well, that you could question ‘did I make the right choice?,’” Mead said. “I’m going to keep them training this week so that if someone gets sick, they could take their place and swim in the [Colonial Athletic Association] meet.”
Toy shaved almost four seconds off of her career-best swim in the 200-yard freestyle, finishing with a time of 1:50.96. She took another seven seconds off of her 500-yard freestyle career time with a finish of 5:05.61. Added to that were more minute improvements in the 100-yard freestyle, 50-yard freestyle and the 100-yard butterfly.
Martin trimmed four seconds from his time in the 200-yard breaststroke, nearly five seconds from his performance in the 200-yard individual medley, two seconds from his 100-yard breaststroke and 10 seconds off of his swim in the 400-yard individual medley.
Essing improved by four seconds in his 200-yard freestyle, two seconds in the 100-yard freestyle and shaved a little less than a second off of his 50-yard freestyle time.
“For the kids that work hard and really dedicate themselves, this is what you get,” Mead said. “Sometimes it’s a hard concept for some of them to grasp, but this is the end goal. This is what we are known for.”
The Tigers will now begin to prepare for the CAA meet which begins with the diving portion running Feb. 21-22 in Newark, Delaware. The swimming is scheduled for Feb. 25-28.