Strategies for championship meets differ between schools

NEW PALESTINE — Mt. Vernon and New Palestine operate under two different philosophies when it comes to preparing for the Hoosier Heritage Conference and sectional meets, the two most important competitions of the swimming season.

But Thursday, both squads approached the contest as if championship were on the line.

The Marauders came way with a sweep, taking the girls meet 96-89 and winning the boys event 114-71 in the same pool that will house the HHC and sectional forays later in the season.

Tom Shaver’s squads continued their successful starts to the 2012-13 campaign. The girls are now 6-0, while the boys — a team that has just three seniors — moved to 4-2.

After Tuesday’s meet versus Greenfield-Central, Shaver explained how his coaching style centered on MV’s swimmers being fit to compete in any event.

The wide-ranging data Shaver gains from that practice provides him with a scientific way to set his HHC and sectional lineup, which is what he did for his team’s second match against a Hancock County team this week.

“Since we do swim conference and sectional here and now that I’m sort of getting our sectional lineup in order, our swimmers get a chance to practice their events in this pool,” he explained. “Plus the New Pal girls are strong, so we needed a full lineup to beat them.”

NP coach Steve Maxwell said he has a good handle on who his No. 1 and No. 2 swimmers are in each race, but noted the Dragons have not put much effort into the conference meet under his watch.

“We use it to see how we’re going to put our sectional lineup together,” Maxwell said of the HHC competition. “Kids that are on the bubble, the third and fourth kids, they’ll swim conference because we need to see them in a stressful environment to see how they perform, and then I can determine our sectional lineup.

“So, our performance at conference probably won’t be reflective of what we’ll do in February.”

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