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Casares Reflects on NCAC, Looks Ahead

Howard W. Hewitt - This will be the final entry in this blog on the Wabash swimmers' 2007 NCAC swim championships.

The Little Giants really hit some remarkable numbers en route to their third-place finish behind Kenyon and Denison.

Six swimmers turned in times which qualify them for the "B" cut of the National Finals. The "B" cut simply means they are alternates and may or may not be invited to the big meet.

Those swimmers are:

Kyle Weaver - 200 medley relay;

Blaine Cooper-Surma - 200 medley relay;

Jordon Blackwell - 400 medley relay;

Adam Petro - 400 medley relay/200 fly;

Robert Dent - 200 medley relay/400 medley relay;

and Tony Caldwell - 200 medley relay/400 medley relay/100 back.

"We had some very good performances, but struggled as a team finding a rhythm," Coach Peter Casares said today. "In fact, I don't think we ever found that rhythm, that 'magic.' The team tried its hardest to though and that was great to watch."

But the results remained rather staggeringly positive. The Little Giants recorded 68 performances that were their fastest of the year. They had more than 35 lifetime bests. They turned in five national qualifying event performances, three all-conference relays, and one school record.

"That's pretty darn good especially seeing we didn't 'find our rhythm,' " Casares said. "I'm proud to see that the team's hard work did pay off."

Casares has written about the meet in his own blog, Lanelines, throughout the weekend. He also put up some final thoughts today.

I'm posting two more photo albums here. The first album is all new material from the opening of the Saturday night finals. It features photos from a couple different swim programs but gives a flavor of the meet excitement.

The second album is a collection of my favorite photos from the three-day event. Some have appeared on the website before and some have not.

Now the Little Giants will prepare for a meet this weekend at Kenyon where they can potentially lower their times and solidfy their chances to compete in the National meet. "I truly believe we can swim even faster this weekend," the coach said. "Combing one more week of rest with the fastest pool in the country is exactly what we need."

In photo above: Casares gives senior swimmer Kyle Weaver a hug during the senior walk at the start of Saturday's finals. Asst. Coach Kyle Dunaway hugs Tony Caldwell behind them.