By Will Menser, Contributing Writer

The year is seemingly just beginning for the Asbury swim teams as they prepare for their first meet, the Derby City Invitational, hosted on Oct. 7 in Louisville, Kentucky. The season started a long time ago, however, according to the swimmers. Afternoon practices began as early as Aug. 21 and early morning practices commenced Sept. 11. As the meet has approached, the team has increased practice times from one to two hours, with weightlifting in the first half followed by swimming the second half.

The team didn’t fare well in last year’s Derby City Invitational, finishing last out of all six teams in attendance. Of course they would like to improve upon this, but overall standings aren’t as important as accomplishing personal goals and best times, according to senior Seth Manley. “Since this is my last semester of school, my goals are to just end the season with no regrets and get personal bests in the 100 breast and 200 individual medley,” he said. Manley went on to explain that the team’s goals are similar to his own, in the sense that they hope to “get as many people to nationals and win Conference and just get best times for everyone all around.”

Junior Jordan Rhinerson, a transfer student in his second semester at Asbury, reaffirmed Manley’s statements. “To me, it’s more about setting a personal best. If getting your personal best meets national requirements, that’s great, but getting your personal best is more important for self-improvement,” he said. Making the national team or winning conference are certainly good, attainable goals to have, but the team has their sights set on improving everyone and getting better as individuals.

Last year, the women finished in fifth place in the Derby City Invitational. This time around, they’re hoping to see a different number, largely thanks to their exciting newcomers. “We are much younger but have so much talent that came in with the new recruiting class. I’m looking forward to leading the team and having a lasting difference on the swim community,” said senior Susanna Hall.

The first meet is more of a way to gauge the amount of work the team needs to put in to try and get their personal bests and possibly win Conference or make the national team. That doesn’t mean the swimmers aren’t taking the meet very seriously; longer practices and even some recovery time before the meet disprove that. There has been a lot of preparation going into this season for the Eagles, and it all begins to take shape when they finally dive into competition on Saturday.