A good year, starting in Goodyear.

Cleveland has long experienced the pains of defeat. The Browns have yet to out grow those pains. The Cavaliers are still riding high after making the Warriors lose a 3-1 lead in the finals and aren’t looking back anytime soon. The Indians share the same finals feelings with the Warriors though. Luckily, this off-season spirits are high as the pitchers and catchers begin to report to Goodyear, Ariz. Perhaps, higher than they were in ’96 and ’98 as the Tribe looks to forget those pains.

Never a stupid question

Many fans were questioning some front office moves this season, but remain optimistic. These are some of the more common questions. If you ask me these are good questions to have. Ask these questions to any fellow Indians fan to get the ball rolling.

True savages

Any fan wants to stay up to date as possible. When you’re on the go and if you’re one of the 675 thousand people that follow the Indians on Twitter then you’re in luck. If you don’t follow them I highly suggest you change that. It’s the quickest and easiest way to get info while on the go. The social media team for Cleveland keeps you up to date with all things Indians and they’re also complete savages.

 

Lets go!

Flickr. Erik Drost.

Social media is great for giving you quick updates. It gives you small pieces of info that are a summary of a bigger story. Sometimes however, social media doesn’t give you enough. If you’re feeling like you need more info than 140 characters then check out Let’s Go Tribe.

Pitchers and catchers, please report to Goodyear

Meanwhile, in Goodyear…

A post shared by indians (@indians) on

Perhaps you’re a visual leaner and want to see how the Indians are preparing to get back to the World Series. Well then you can join the over 323 thousand followers they have collected on Instagram. on the ‘gram you still get news and info, but it’s way more fun here. you can interact with the social media team (who is still savage on there too) and could even partake in events that end in prizes like free tickets.

Frankie says relax and read up

Flickr. Erik Drost.

If you have plenty of time to set aside and really want to get into something, or you just want a larger variety of stories with spring training starting up. checkout Cleveland.com. Coverage is also picking up  especially for the Tribe who are sitting at 14-1 odds to win it all (any Clevelander says the odds are much better than that, however).  This is not as flashy as Lets go Tribe, but the content is just as good.

 

A Good year is a weekly newsletter, with daily updates, that keeps you updated on all platforms for the Indians. Whether it’s social media, news websites or blogs and other newsletters, you will have all the info to get what you want to know. Make sure you subscribe to stay updated from spring training all the way to October.

The Fullcourt Press

The Boston Celtics continue its hot streak coming off a fiery win at Dallas on Feb. 13. Here are some things that have happened in the past month that have led to the Celtics being on a roll and attaining the second spot among the east behind the defending Champions, Cleveland Cavaliers.

Isaiah Thomas, the Saint

Thomas is by far, one of the top point guards in the east and even among the league. With his second-consecutive All-Star nomation to All-Star weekend, Thomas is fueled to continue building his image as one of the East’s best PG’s. On top of that, he was named Player of the Month in the Eastern Conference in Jan. Move over King James and Kyrie Irving, save room for IT.

No Bradley, no problem

Avery Bradley has been battling an achillies injury for the past few weeks. Last year in the postseason, the Celtics were struggling, trying to find a player that can fill the gap Bradley provides defensively. They couldn’t, resulting in a 4-2 series loss to the Cavs. This year, the Celtics have figured out a way to play without one of its more prolific defenders.

Boston Celtics v/s Washington Wizards April 11, 2011 | Keith Allison (Flickr)

Pierce’s last jab

For the last time, though he wasn’t in the right uniform, Paul Pierce walked into the TD Garden on Feb. 5 and played his last game on the Celtics court. No better way to end his last game in Boston than this…

Trade Rumors

Boston is about one franchise player away from becoming a championship contenting team. Serge Ibaka was looking for a new home after arriving in Orlando last season. Boston wanted him, but weren’t willing to give up a key young player to make that happen. So this happened… 

All-Star Weekend

The most fun weekend of the NBA season has officially arrived…ALL-STAR WEEKEND, BABY!!! Isaiah Thomas is the only Celtic represented in the events this weekend, but that’s all good. He deserves it. There’s plenty more years for the youthful Celtics to crowd the All-Star lineup.

The Fullcourt Press is a monthly newsletter giving you bits and pieces of the Cetlics world. We try to diversify our info so you’re getting the big points that happen throughout the month, as well as adding some league-wide information, relevant to the Celtics.

Subscribe to The Fullcourt Press for monthly updates on all info Celtics and NBA related.

Five minutes for reading: Notes on the Washington Capitals

It’s time to get excited again.

In just under two months, the Stanley Cup Playoffs will once again grace the sporting world with its presence. The Cup Playoffs are simultaneously dreadful, astonishing, exhilarating and can turn even the most sane people into a raging nutcase. And yet, we love it all the same.

The Washington Capitals, winners of everything but the Stanley Cup, are once again in the driver’s seat to win the President’s Trophy. But there’s really not an argument to the contrary anymore.

This is the best team of the Alex Ovechkin era. There won’t be a better chance for the Capitals to win the Cup. For a franchise as snakebitten as this one, that’s enough scare you into a pillow fort. But it’s time to believe.

Bye Bye Bye

The Capitals are officially on their NHL-mandated bye week. The team’s last game was Saturday, and they won’t hit the ice again until next Saturday against the Detroit Red Wings.

Some of the player’s have already taken advantage of this rare week off, doing whatever they need to in order to get ready for the upcoming stretch run. Maybe a run that will last until June.

The Capitals just finished a stretch of 21 games in 42 days, so a long rest is in order for a team who just lost its second line winger, Andre Burakovsky.

Coach Barry Troz has said time and time again this season that he wants to manage the team’s ice time to keep fresher legs ready for April and May, and this bye week should help that.

The year?

The age old question surrounding the Washington Capitals:

Is this the year?

Seemingly every year, there’s a new reason to believe that this is, in fact, the Capitals turn. A new goalie, improved defense, more scoring depth have been cited for years as the team’s problems.

Well this year, the Capitals have all of those things. In fact, they’re fielding a team with no discernible weaknesses. Frankly, that scares the hell out of Caps fans.

Washington Post columnist Barry Svrluga wrote a terrific column about how this is the year. Finally.

The Capitals have one of the best goalies in the league, the best team defense in the league by far and enough scoring depth with the likes of Pittsburgh and anyone else that might face the Caps.

It’s a game of razor thin margins, so all it takes is one hot goalie to put the Capitals on the couch for May. But there isn’t a team in the league that matches up to Washington. Well, on paper.

Bunches of fun

The Capitals scoring over the last month has been, well, stupid. There really isn’t another word for how much the Caps have been scoring.

Five Capitals have over 15 goals this year, and there’s a legitimate chance that seven players end up with over 20 goals. 10 players have already scored double digit goals this season.

Since the new year, the Capitals have scored 4.52 goals per game. That would be good for first by one whole goal per game. The Capitals now have three legitimate, talented scoring lines and it’s showing.

Off the Ice

The Capitals have also drawn some attention from their off the ice events.

Braden Holtby will wear a “You Can Play” themed mask on Feb. 24. You Can Play is an organization dedicated to equality in sports, regardless of gender of sexual orientation.

The Capitals also hosted Fatima Al Ali, a woman from the United Arab Emirates and a Capitals fanatic. She got to meet Alex Ovechkin and team and broke down in tears at the sight of everyone in the locker room.

She dropped the ceremonial puck at the Red Wings/Capitals game that night too.

(John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

Legal murder

The Capitals are actually destroying their opponents right now. And really, it’s not close.

The Caps have lost just three times since Jan. 1 and just five of their wins since then have been by one goal. Meaning, in the 21 games since the new year, the Capitals have won 13 times by at least two goals.

The team is slowly creeping away with the President’s Trophy race, which would be the team’s third in eight years.

The run is not likely to continue, especially as the playoffs draw closer, but for now, there might not be a better, more dominant team in sports.

It’s OK to worry about playoff failures and past defeats, but for now, enjoy the ride. There hasn’t been one like it in Capitals history, and there might not ever be another stretch like this one.

Five minutes for fighting is a newsletter where NHL and Washington Capitals fans can gather to get storylines on the team. Come for the hockey commentary, stay for bad hockey puns. Not affiliated with the Washington Capitals or the National Hockey League. Not even a little bit.

Things finally looking up for Duke, but will the Blue Devils be ready for March

 

Entering mid-February of a rollercoaster season, the Duke Blue Devils are finally starting to embody the full potential of the preseason No. 1 team that was the favorite to win this year’s national title.  Duke seemed to have all of the components to piece together a national championship team early on- a great pool of freshmen talent, 4 returning veterans including lead scorer Luke Kennard as well as three 2015 national championship players, and a world-class coach returning after winning his third Olympic gold medal in Brazil.  However, injuries, suspension, and lacking in team cohesiveness has caused an unpredictable season for Duke.

The Blue Devils began their season without freshmen Jayson Tatum, Marques Bolden, and top recruit Harry Giles, all of whom suffered early injuries.  Duke and head coach Mike Krzyzewski were adamant about waiting until players were back to 100 percent before returning to the court. Even without these key players, Duke managed to start their season 9-1.  Duke played their first full roster game with the return of a healthy Harry Giles, who made his college debut, December 19th with a 65-55 win over Tennessee State.

Duke’s full roster team did not last long.  Following their win over Tennessee State, preseason favorite Player of the Year junior Grayson Allen came under scrutiny for tripping Elon’s Steven Santa Ana.  This was Allen’s third offense in one calendar year, with blatant tripping offenses last season against both Louisville and Florida State.  This incident took the media by storm, mostly incited by the angered tantrum Allen threw on the bench following the incident.  The preseason player of the year favorite was subjected to countless harsh tweets, articles, and internet memes.  Mike Kryzyzewski imposed an indefinite suspension on Allen as well as stripping him of his captaincy as punishment.

That indefinite suspension, however, resulted in a mere one game suspension for the junior, which led to even more backlash in the media on Allen, Duke, and Krzyzewski.  Allen struggled in his early games back and faced extreme hate from opposing teams and fans, including getting booed any time he touched the ball.  It seems though that Allen has finally accepted the situation he has placed himself in as college basketball villain and begun to play to his full potential.  Allen is a leader on the court and has come up big in recent wins, serving as a key playmaker to his team. Duke needs the consistency Allen has been providing in recent games to remain a top contender in a fierce ACC conference.

Freshman injuries and Allen’s suspension were not the only setbacks Duke has faced this year.  It was announced in early January that head coach Mike Krzyzewski would undergo back surgery, leading the five-time national championship coach to miss 4 weeks for recovery.  Assistant coach Jeff Capel served as interim head coach for 7 games, which the Blue Devils finished 4-3 with Kryzewski’s absence.  The injuries did not stop with the freshmen or coach-during Kryzyzewski’s absence, Duke also played without their co-captain Amile Jefferson for 2 games, who was out with a bone bruise to his right foot, the same foot that caused him to miss 27 games last season.

But now things are finally starting to look up for Duke- they’re playing with an almost full roster (sophomore Chase Jeter currently out due to herniated disk), Coach K has returned from his absence following back surgery, Grayson Allen has taken reigns as a team leader, and the Blue Devils are on a 5-0 winning streak coming off a win against Clemson.  CBS has released 2017 NCAA bracketology predictions with Duke a current 4 seed. With this team the healthiest they have been all season and the return of their coach, the question is if the Blue Devils have enough time to prepare for March to be a national title contender.

This is a team with nine McDonald’s All-Americans and all of the right talent to win a national championship. After numerous setbacks, things are starting to look up for the Blue Devils. But with March quickly approaching, will Mike Krzyzewski be able to mold the cohesiveness this team has lacked all season when it counts?

The 5 saddest times to be a D.C. sports fan

D.C. sports fans are the most tortured souls in sports fandom. I know this, because I’ve spent many nights, sitting on my couch, befuddled at life itself. Nothing really matters. It all dies anyways.

With Cleveland’s title last summer, D.C. sports took claim to the saddest sports city in America. It’s different being a D.C. kid in a town like Athens, especially when fans hail from Cleveland, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. Here’s the worst five moments since the turn of the century in D.C:

5: Gilbert brings guns to the locker room

After brief success in the middle-2000s, the Wizards were dying. Gilbert Arenas had bad knees and was faltering, Antwan Jamison and Caron Butler were growing weary, and the Cavaliers couldn’t be stopped. Then in the 2009-10 season, Arenas brought unloaded guns to the locker room. After an argument with a teammate, Arenas allegedly threatened to shoot Javaris Crittenton. Arenas was suspended for the remainder of the season and traded a year later.

(Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images) (Via Google Images)

4: LeBron psyches out Agent Zero

The Wizards were up two against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 6 of the 2006 NBA Playoffs. With just two free throws in overtime, Gilbert Arenas, a new league sensation, would have sent the Wizards and Cavs to Game 7. LeBron walked up to Arenas, and historically said “miss these, you’re going home.” Arenas missed both free throws, and Damon Jones hit a 3-pointer as time ran out for the Cavaliers.

(Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post) (Via Google Images)

 

3: Nationals blow lead against the Cardinals 

After fighting for a baseball team for decades, the Nationals finally had made playoffs after seven long years. The Nationals were up 6-0 in Game 5, and were on track to be the first D.C. sports team to make a conference final since 1998. They blew the lead, gave up four runs in the ninth inning, and lost. The Cardinals were down to their last strike twice. Still, no D.C. sports team has made a conference final since 1998.

(Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post) (Via Google Images)

2: RG3’s knee explodes 

The Redskins had him. The quarterback designed to lead the team to the promised land. Playing on an injured knee, Robert Griffin III led the Redskins to a 14-0 lead over the Seattle Seahawks in the playoffs. Then, disaster. A bad snap forced RG3’s knee to bend and every major ligament in his knee to snap. The fallout forced an entire coaching staff, and Griffin, out of Washington three years later.

(John McDonnell/Getty Images) (Via Google Images)

1: Any Capitals playoff loss

The most tortured team in hockey history, the Capitals started blowing 3-1 leads before it was cool. The team has made the playoffs all but seven times since 1982, and still has only made the conference finals once. President’s Trophies don’t seem to matter for the “choking dogs,” who each and every year find a way to blow a once promising season. It’s a running joke.

(Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports) (Via Google Images)

My chair, my desk and my past

My chair is crooked, and the seat cushion is stained with years of ass sweat. It probably smells, but I’m so used to it I’ve become immune. My desk is empty, other than the desktop I never touch and the calendar I never flip.

Photo by Pete Nakos

On my right is a barren desk of cluttered paper, filled with previous newspapers and miscellaneous papers that should’ve been disposed of weeks ago. On my left is a bulletin board packed with engaging pictures and fascinating stories, but most of the items are old. Nothing noteworthy has happened recently.

As for the inside of my desk, it doesn’t get anymore excited. Other than the dirty mugs and South African teabags, the only tenants are charger wires, a blue pen and a handful of my business cards. Are you hiring?

This is the newsroom, and this desk and chair are supposed to be coveted by The Post Sports Editor. That’s me.

It’s a strange position. For every optimistic and promising moment on my staff, there are a dozen other stories that I’d like to forget. I’ve had good moments here — four years of hard work to improve my dream of being a professional sportswriter.

I’ve had late nights that have spilled well past early mornings. I’ve watched friends come and graduate, only for a new batch of freshman to come in and try to make an impression.

A lot of times, that sucks.

But the constant transitioning has propelled me to the top. And for better or worse, I’m midway through my second year overseeing the best sports staff of any student media outlet at Ohio University, and maybe even the state.

The thing about growth, at least in this newsroom, is the constant requirement to change and adapt. Sure, writing well is important, but what about filming and editing my own video off my phone? What about the podcast I need to produce later tonight after I write my basketball game story. Oh, and I forgot I still need to meet with the executives to find a time for plan a new radio show.

This keeps me busy. Keeping busy is nice, but sometimes it’s easy to slip behind — either in writing or in class — and suddenly feel as though I’m suffocating to survive. Three weeks in and already needing a Reading Day is hardly an indication that life is going swimmingly.

Yet I keep coming back to this chair. This desk. This stuffy newsroom with no jaded faces and no windows. I’ve grown and matured a lot the past three years. Perhaps the easiest way to see that comes from daily trips to my newsroom desk.

Daily, not much changes. Our stories still seem subpar and I still feel like I’m falling behind in class.

But the mood is changing.

I’m a few weeks away from a fresh start, where daily budget meetings to discuss indoor track and field previews disappear and pay stubs and loans start to matter.

I’m looking forward to that. My current view — my reflection on the dusty desktop screen — has long lost is lure.

Sports away from OU athletics

 

Get on Rt. 33. Drive toward Columbus. Watch out for State Patrol, follow the speed limit. Off to the left there is a street, Johnson Rd. Take it. Drive all the way until you see a school: Athens High School.

Now why would a 21-year-old Ohio U. student claim Athens HS as his favorite place in Athens? Well the first option I had was Sells Park, but I managed to lose the photos I took from my journey there. So Athens HS came second.

What makes Athens HS one of the best places in Athens to me is that it taught me a lot about being a sports journalist. I want to be a sports writer and this past fall was the first time I got to cover football; high school football.

Having expereience covering football out of college is huge for me, especially prep football because prep sports will be a large part of what I do at my first job.

The first time I had ever been to Athens HS was a mild late summer day in mid-August. Athens was scrimmaging against Trimble HS. I knew next to nothing about the team. I knew they went to the OHSAA State Championship game two years prior, but other than that, I was clueless.

After the scrimmage was over, I met the head coach, Ryan Adams. After the first encounter, I was skeptical about the remainder of the season. Not that he was a bad guy at all, he wasn’t, it was just the first time The Post, Ohio University’s independent school paper, covered the team; he was unfamiliar with me and the other beat reporter, we were unfamiliar with him.

But about four games into the season, things changed. It was the game at Alexander HS. The game concluded, his team victorious. But he wasn’t expecting us to show up to the game.  Most times, the other publication to cover HS sports in the area shows up to select games.

But our job was to solely cover Athens HS.

We had to track him down for an interview. At that point, he knew we cared. He began to understand that we are going to show up at practice and every game, home and away.

Throughout the season, me and the other beat reporter built a raport with the coach and our relationship with him changed.

It was something I looked forward to. Every sports journalism professional I have met, has a solid relationship with the head coach of the high school team. I always wanted that. I got it.

That made covering the team more fun and really helped me see how fun covering high school sports can be, depsite the stigma of it being an entry level job.

Obviously, I don’t plan on covering high school sports the rest of my life, but I went into the season biased against the fact that I didn’t want to cover high school football. But I came out of the season, with content I am proud of producing and a better sports journalist and a grown passion for writing about sports.

ww773412@ohio.edu

Bass catchin’ not bar hopping

As a farm girl from the South trapped at a rowdy party school I have approached my past four years of college much like a roller coaster: close my eyes and hope it’s over soon. Unlike other students, the place I know I’ll look back on with nostalgia when thinking about my college town isn’t a bar or a burrito place, it’s a fishing spot.

It’s true that many students visit Strouds Run State Park at some point during their stay in Athens, Ohio but what many of them don’t know about–or maybe just don’t care about–is a more secluded section of Strouds Run that is the core of Dow Lake. The dam built in 1959 that sits in a little off-set pocket right against East State Street.


http://wildlife.ohiodnr.gov/Portals/wildlife/Maps/Lake%20Maps/PDFs/dowlake2.pdf

While the north and west sides of the lake are typically occupied on warm spring and summer days, this little haven remains scarcely populated. Parking, boat rentals and beaches are located on the north and west sides of the lake so to the typical collegiate friend group deciding to embark on an outdoor pursuit this is where they end up. Yes, these city slickers and Midwest rurals are bonding over the great outdoors and it’s wonderful! However, I go to the water for exclusion.

A few times I have been sitting cross-legged on the bank securing my reel to my arrows, a meditative act I enjoy doing to prepare to bow fish, when a stranger suddenly joined me. My dog lets me know if someone is approaching before they could possibly see me. He isn’t a hunting dog by any means, just an overly loving goober who is particularly adept at tracking down hands to pet him.

These visitors are usually middle aged men who grew up here. “Townies” as us students like to call them. They always apologize for interrupting me because they came here to be alone too (after getting over their complete and utter surprise because a student knows this spot), then the bow sparks some interesting conversations.

One morning I was there and had no intentions of fishing. I brought the dogs to swim and to get some fresh air while I tinkered around with my bow. A younger gentleman came walking up (with my dog prancing beside him. Traitor.) and started setting up his spot to fish. He actually was a hobbiest archer himself and we sat and worked on my bow together. He had a set of archery wrenches (tools used to adjust a bow) and when he left he told me to keep them. It was simple and meaningless, yet I wouldn’t trade that wrench set for a million Court Street Snapstories.

I took this Snap when a kind townie gave me a spare set of tools for my bow!

For the most part it’s just my dog, the fish and myself over at the dam. Isolated. Not “experiencing” Athens. Occasionally, I get to listen to fishing stories or see pictures of last bow season’s buck though. It’s times like those that make me feel like I’m not the one missing out but instead the one actually experiencing Athens.

Bird Arena – A place everyone must visit while in Athens

When I got to Ohio University as a freshman back in 2013, I was not certain of much.  However one of the few things I was sure of is that I wanted to pursue a career in sports journalism, but I was new to campus and was not exactly sure how to get involved.

Then one night I was given a tour of Bird Arena along with other freshman students who were also looking for a way to get involved.  I thought Bird Arena was unique and did not even know it had existed until I took the tour of it on that Friday night. From that tour I was able to wind up getting a job working with the Ohio University D1 men’s hockey team.

Bird Arena itself is not all that noticeable when you’re just walking around the Ohio University campus, but I would definitely consider it a gem of Athens because of the historical significance of the arena and the storied history of the team is houses.

Bird Arena does offer more than just hockey though, you can rent skates and skate around the ice yourself, which many students take advantage of.

Showing up the arena every weekend and watching the Bobcats hockey team play was something I started looking forward to, and it was neat to get the access of one of the media members.  I got to go in the locker rooms and also the media “nest” that is situated right at center ice and has a great view of the ice rink as you can see from the photo below.

Ohio hockey kicking off the 2016 regular season at Bird Arena against John Carroll University.

As I said before, I did not even know that Ohio had a hockey team and I soon came to realize that at Bird Arena, passionate fans gathered there every game day weekend to cheer on the Bobcats, it was quite the site to see for me.

The building itself is not that large compared to the football stadium and basketball arena, seating a maximum capacity of just 2,000 spectators, but when it is packed and the Bobcats are playing well, it sounds as if there are 10,000 people in the arena.  From the picture below you can see just how popular the hockey team is, there was a line outside the door for tickets before the opening series weekend last year. I was impressed by the line when I got to the arena so I had to snap this picture.

Fans lineup outside Bird Arena before a hockey game in 2015. During game day weekends the arena is usually full of passionate and loyal hockey fans.

Over my four years of following and covering the Bobcats hockey team I have spent plenty of time at Bird Arena, going there at least once a week, if not more often, to watch practice and speak with the head coach and different players for my articles that I write for the team throughout the year.  Whether there is a full arena or just me there by myself watching the team practice, I always enjoy my time at Bird Arena.

This link is to the Ohio Bobcats hockey website, where you can read all about the what goes on with team at Bird Arena.  http://www.ohiobobcatshockey.com

While some students may be like me when I was a freshman and not know much about Bird Arena or all that it houses, I would highly recommend taking a trip there one weekend to witness a hockey or to try your hand at ice skating with your friends.  It is definitely a gem on this campus and a place that is somewhere I’ll always enjoy going.

The Ohio University Aquatic Center: the best and the worst place for a swimmer in Athens

To be completely honest, my favorite place in Athens, Ohio is also my least favorite place. The Ohio University Aquatic Center, commonly known as “OUAC” or “the pool”, is where all my best and worst college experiences have taken place. For those who do not know where the pool is, it is connected Grover and behind Bird Arena. The OUAC is open to all students during the designated open swim times.

The Olympic-sized pool and facility opened in 1984 and remains in good condition despite minimal renovations. There are 22 lanes, which is plenty of space for those who frequent the pool. In the deep-end section of the pool, there are two one-meter diving boards and two three-meter diving boards.

I am a member of the Ohio University Women’s Swimming and Diving team, therefore I spend copious amounts of time at the Ohio University Aquatic Center. Twice a day, every day, I jump into the sometimes icy cold waters and grind out a workout.

The Ohio University Women’s Swimming & Diving team celebrating a victory after a dual meet on 1/21/17.

Most swim practices are a grueling two hours of non-stop laps. We are out of breath and aching at the end of the workout. Some workouts are stamped into my memory for being the worst experience of my life.

My least favorite set would be the semi-annual 25x200s freestyle. In the set, we are supposed to hold the fastest pace we can for the duration of the set. Our coach will record our times and get our average. Our average will be used as a benchmark for other workouts during the season.

Even though I often hate going to the pool, it’s still my favorite place on campus. It is my favorite place because it is “home” to me. Being in the water is like second nature. No matter what chaos is ensuing in my life, the pool remains a constant place to relieve my stresses.

The pool is also where I met all my best friends. If I weren’t on the swim team and at the pool 24/7, I wouldn’t have the relationships I do now. My team is my family and I love the time I get to spend with them.

Carrie Dukes, Katie Lemen, Caroline Raley, and Liz Murphy snap a picture underwater at swim practice.

My favorite college memory thus far took place at the OUAC. It was the first dual meet of 2014, and my first college swim meet. The atmosphere was incredible. I will never forget stepping up on the blocks for my first collegiate race. It was the 200-yard freestyle. My parents were in the stands, and my teammates and coaches were lined up on the edge of the pool cheering me on. It was truly a moment I will never forget.

To most people, the Ohio University Aquatic Center is one of the amenities on campus that they don’t take advantage of. To me, it is much more. My relationship with the pool is defiantly love-hate, but I wouldn’t be the same person without it. I give the OUAC full credit for my success in athletics, fond college memories, and lasting relationships.

Next time you’re in the mood for a good workout, grab your swimsuit and head to the aquatic center.