Swimming & Diving: Ohio coach intent on keeping season in ‘upward spiral,’ not head down the drain

Kathleen Power swims butterfly during the women’s 200-meter medley relay. The Bobcats defeated Denison 186-101 Saturday. Power placed 5th in the relay. (KAITLYN BERNAUER | For The Post)

Getting ready for meets is a daily process for head coach Greg Werner — almost like fitting together a puzzle.

He plans for each meet and the season in reverse order, starting first with the finished product — the MAC Championships — and then backtracking through the team’s schedule. Once he figures out what the team needs to do during the course of the season, his attention turns to each meet.

Werner said scoring varies from meet to meet and mostly depends on how each contest plays out.  

“We absolutely have meets where we go into it thinking, ‘This is what we have to do here to win a meet,’ ” Werner said. “Other meets, we know that we probably have some flexibility and a little bit of margin of error and can focus more on performance.”

Some meets are close, and the team knows who will have the advantage late in the match or whether some meets are a toss up. The team does its homework to see which opponents require extra preparation to face based on swimmers’ and divers’ previous performances.

Werner always gives a scouting report regardless of how he expects the meet to play out, but he can count on his swimmers and divers to know how to prepare for each competition.

As for the divers, coach Russ Dekker said he emphasizes accomplishing what they have done all week in practice and not focusing on a particular score.

“Before each dive, I tell them a few things that I want them to focus and think about. We try to compete the same way we do in practice,” Dekker said. “It’s more of a reminder in, ‘Don’t think about the whole dive. Just think about a few parts of the dive.’ ”

Four of the five Bobcat divers have qualified for the NCAA Zone Diving Championships in Oxford, Ohio, which will take place in early March.  

Werner wants to keep his season going on an “upward spiral,” and one way to
achieve that is to be as prepared as possible for every meet, he said.

“The more prepared I am, the more prepared I get my staff to be, the better daily experience we are going to give the team,” Werner said.


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