With the toughest meets of the regular season behind them and a chance for a fourth straight state championship now just weeks away, the Saline boys’ swim and dive team is working through the toughest part of the schedule.
“This is the toughest time of the season. We’re fine tuning things, the boys’ are back in class and we have practices four or five times a week. Plus we have these league meets,” said head coach Todd Brunty. “It’s a grind. And right now, the boys are handling it pretty well.”
Thursday night, Saline defeated Bedford with ease, 144-42. State champions David Boland, Adam Whitener and Josh Ehrman each won an event in light duty. Other victories came from Ian McEwen in the 200 IM, Ben Pummel in the 50 sprint, Geoffrey Duong in the 100 fly, Dustin Wall in diving, Stefan Koberl in the 500, and Michael Bundas in the 100 backstroke.
Brunty said the key objective of this portion of the season is to prepare Saline’s depth to provide the support that Whitener, Boland, Ehrman and Bundas will need at the state meet.
“The depth is starting to come. We got through all of our toughest meets,” Brunty said.
Brunty said he’s looking for seniors like Geoffrey Duong, Austin Deal, Steven Rudnik and Lucas Allen to play important roles on the team.
“We’re talking a lot about the importance of depth because, first and foremost, our guys need to understand how important they are,” Brunty said. “For some of these guys, they’ve never been counted on the way we will count on them this year.”
Heralded all-state swimmers like Adam Whitener, David Boland and Josh Ehrman are working with their teammates every day.
“In practice, we’re really focusing on the little things, like not breathing off walls and things like that,” Whitener said. “We’ll do a full 400 (yards) with no breathing off walls. We’ll challenge everyone on the team to do it and if they don’t, we’ll restart.”
It’s a tough but effective way to get the message across, Whitener said.
Brunty and Whitener believe that the team will be ready when it counts.
“Over the next couple weeks, we’re going to put (depth swimmers) into challenging situations to push them a little more,” Brunt said. “From what I’ve seen so far, I think we’re going to get there.”
“I’m confident in our team and excited to see where it takes us,” Whitener said.