Since last year's Mid-American Conference Championships, junior Logan Ackley has been eyeing his own record in the 200 backstroke (1:48.81). Little by little, his time has been inching toward a new record. The main difference in his stroke this season is the way he is able to propel quickly to the surface off of every turn.
“At the beginning of this year, we focused a lot on our underwater kicks,” Ackley said. “In the season, I tried to go at least one or two kicks farther than what I normally would do.”
Before the championships commence, Ackley is trying not to change anything in his stroke. He and the rest of the Cardinals are focused on lowering the amount of yards they swim. The coaching staff has also helped Ackley try to lower his time by implementing a faster speed.
“Hopefully, I’ll be able to hold a faster tempo throughout the whole 200, longer than I did last year from when I slowed down in the last 50-yards.” Ackley said
Ackley’s current in-season time is 1:53.23, six seconds away from the record. He swam this time back at the Miami Invitational in December. The goal for this year’s championships is to beat his record. According to head coach J. Agnew, Ackley is also close to breaking the 100 backstroke record as well (50.05).
“I think all great swimmers are able to reset their goals and move forward and he’s no exception to that,” Agnew said. “He just wants to keep getting faster that’s for sure.”
From the bottom up
The Cardinals have finished in last place at this championship meet for the past three seasons. Agnew wants that to change this year by beating Evansville.
“They are a very strong team, but we felt like every time we raced them, they didn’t have anything that we can’t answer,” Agnew said. “We have trained hard all season. We’re going to rest, taper and we’re going to show up ready to race.”
In order to find success in Oxford, the Cardinals need help from other athletes. This season, sophomore Davis Meyn leads Ball State with the top time in the 200 freestyle (1:41.09). According to the Men's Top 20 Ranking, Meyn’s time is 14th among other MAC swimmers.
Sophomore Sean Wolfe is focusing on his form to improve his dives. He leads the team in the 1-meter diving with 262.58 points. At most dual meets, Wolfe has been the top finisher for the Cardinals.
“I’m still pretty new to the sport,” Wolfe said. “I have only been diving for four years. A lot of work with skill and basic form that a lot of people get to learn early on, I get to work on that.”
At this championship meet, Agnew says he expects his team to do three things: race as a team, love their teammates and be fearless behind the blocks.
“They have just responded to every challenge I have put in front of them,” Agnew said. “I have seen that all year; it doesn’t matter if it’s in practice or in a meet. When I ask them to do something they’re a little uncomfortable with, they have stepped up to the plate and gotten it done.”
Contact Patrick Murphy with comments at email@example.com or on Twitter @PMURPH505.