Bears face tough competition at Show-Me Showdown

The Washington University swimming and diving teams squared off against some of the best talent in the state this past weekend.

In the annual Show-Me Showdown on Oct. 8, hosted by the University of Missouri on Oct. 8, the Bears faced six other in-state teams.

“It is a very competitive meet,” head coach Brad Shively said. “University of Missouri started it about half a dozen years ago to bring all of the schools together for a meet. It always has unusual distances and a ton of relays, but it’s a great opportunity to race and get some swims in.”

William Jewell College, Lindenwood University, Drury University, Missouri University of Science and Technology, Wash. U., Missouri State University and the University of Missouri all participated as a way to promote college swimming across the state.

“There are really tough schools from Division I and II who are out of our league, but its more about getting racing experience and trying to finish well,” sophomore Chi Pham said.

The lineup of schools was highly competitive, with many non-Division III colleges. Mizzou is a top Division I program, and Drury is a prime Division II team.

“We didn’t go in trying to win but we wanted to get some more races in,” Shively said. “We are looking for more swimming and how we are swimming. We are trying to get the competitive juices flowing.”

The NCAA regulates 50, 100, 200 and 1,000-yard events; however, the Show-Me Showdown featured 75-yard and 150-yard swims. The difference changed the swimmers’ times drastically, and are therefore less helpful in evaluating how the team did.

“We didn’t look at results to see where we finished,” Shively said. “We didn’t learn anything from how we placed, but we did from how we swam and our pacing. We aren’t going to judge it on stats, but we will judge on intensity and work ethic, which were both great.”

Even with the stiff competition, the Bears proved their worth in freestyle, butterfly and the relays. Pham captured seventh place in butterfly and junior Brendan Morin took eighth.

“A lot of people stepped up and had some swims that were much better than the week before,” Shively said.

This tournament featured more relays than the team normally swims, with three or four happening at a time. Most swimmers competed in more than seven events this week.

“All of our relay events went really well,” Pham said. “In the 400-yard relay, freshmen Luke Dobben and Adam Seroka did really well.”

The entire team was extremely happy with its intensity at the tournament.

“The spirit or sense of comradery has the opportunity to help galvanize and get everyone on the same page,” Shively said. “I thought the spirit and intensity was just great.”

The Bears’ are on a three-week break before their next meet, an Oct. 29 matchup with DePauw University at home.

“Our next meet isn’t for a few weeks so we have some time to improve right now,” Shively said. “We are going to look at the film and see what each player needs to work on. We are looking at the meets down the road a few months so we need to put in some hard work.”

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