GREENSBORO – North Carolina A&T sophomore Victoria Orr stepped out of the water after swimming as fast as she could in the 100-yard individual medley at the Greensboro Aquatic Center Friday night. After swimming a 1:06.64, logic says she should have had time to catch her breath and grab a snack.
Logic doesn’t win out in a 16-events style swim meet. Ninety seconds after Orr jumped out of the pool, a whistle blew, summoning her back to the blocks for the 200-yard freestyle relay. Thus was the format when the Aggies faced Campbell at the GAC.
The 16-events race required swimmers to do events continually with only 2-4 minutes rest between them. Each Aggies swimmer competed in at least four events, which tested the team’s stamina and discipline. The Camels got the best of the Aggies, 157-89.
“I got pretty burned out today,” said Orr, who also competed in the 50-yard breaststroke and the 100-yard freestyle. “The relay really burned me out. I’m not a freestyle swimmer, so today was hard.”
Or said despite the grueling competition, the meet is fun because it allows swimmers to compete continuously. The meet played to the Aggies strengths in one way because they are blessed with a talented pool of sprinters. It put A&T at a disadvantage because the Camels had more depth, allowing the opportunity to rest more.
Ironically, however, A&T head coach Shawn Hendrix learned something about her depth through the speedy format.
“We have a lot of swimmers who are really fast in those events,” said Hendrix about the 50 and 100 free. Hendrix has so much depth there; the swimmers have to compete for those spots Friday morning. “They’re really competing in practice,” Hendrix continued. “Campbell is ranked fourth in our conference. I thought we swam really well against them. We just had a couple mental checkouts because this was not a normal format.”
The additions of redshirt freshmen Dominique Crable and Aarica Carrington have made the Aggies speedier. Carrington improved her 100-yard freestyle time from last week’s VMI where she swam a 59.78. On Friday, she recorded a time of 58.16. Crable finished just ahead of her in third after finishing in 57.51. Crable and Danielle Jackson also did well in the 50-yard backstroke with Jackson finishing in 33.58 (3rd), while Crable had a time of 33.92.
Sophomore Miranda Jacobs also had a great outing. She had the second-fastest time in the 50-yard butterfly as she finished in 28.93.
“Sometimes the girls don’t understand how important it is to actually recover and go right into that cool down,” said Hendrix. “So we had a lot of learning opportunities. We had people who really did well in events that don’t normally swim. It kind of gave me a perception of where we can have more depth in certain events.”
The Aggies return to action next week when they compete in the annual Highlander Invitational in Radford, Va. It is a three-day event where once again the Aggies will have to once again learn how to give their body enough rest while still competing. But it will be in a different way.
“We’ll have to maintain our energy each day because it is a 3-day meet,” said Jacobs. “We need to come out each day and leave everything in the pool.”