Bucknell Men's Swimming and Diving Blog - Eric Sokolosky
April 19, 2011
This late in the semester, there are many distractions that can shift focus off of our incredible sport. With finals looming just weeks away and the warmth and relief of spring finally upon us (hopefully for good), Bucknell Men's Swimming & Diving is training harder in this offseason than I've ever experienced. The addition of long course morning practices twice a week has been tiresome and sometimes brutal, but we all realize the dividends this type of training will provide. Without mandatory lifting sessions, I was initially nervous that it would be difficult for everyone to retain and build off the strength they had gained during the long season. However, whether it is afternoon lifts on Tuesdays and Thursdays, treadmill running or spinning classes, and even yoga, this team has found numerous ways to stay in shape and keep up their fitness out of the water as well. It is a breath of fresh air to see the entire Bison swim team so motivated to become better athletes.
Although this past season saw scores of new top-10 additions and a handful of new school records, a third-place finish in the Patriot League Championship was not our goal. While initially demoralized, we have rebounded in an incredible way this spring. With the guidance and continued dedication of our coaches, we have found what it takes to maintain, improve, and become faster. If we sustain this level of training (and we will), I have no doubts that this team will be deeper and better than any other swim team in Bucknell's history.
Lastly, the level of competition Bucknell Swimming has recently reached can also echo the positive direction this program is headed. Two weeks after Patriots, a small contingent of swimmers, including Kelly Pontecorvo, Billy Krause, Mike Nicholson and myself traveled to Indiana for the Indianapolis Grand Prix. There, we not only witnessed and bumped elbows with some of the greatest swimmers in the world, but also competed and gave ourselves benchmarks going into the spring and looking towards the summer long-course season. After finals, another small group of us will head to North Carolina for the Charlotte Ultra Swim, the next stop on the USA Swimming Grand Prix circuit. Whether it be at a meet back home or at the Mid-Atlantic Championships held at Bucknell in July, it is my hope, as is several others', to swim fast enough to make a US Nationals cut and join Tom, Billy and Mike at that meet held at Stanford University in early August.
In all, it has been an exciting spring that I am confident will lead to a remarkable summer. I do not know what will happen, but I cannot wait to see what does.