The Lehigh swimming and diving teams will participate in the four-day Patriot League Championships from Feb. 20 to Feb. 23. The meet will be in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, and will be hosted by Bucknell.
Both teams have seen success so far this season. The women’s team is 7-2 heading into the tournament, while the men’s team is 6-2.
Head coach Rob Herb knows what his team is capable of, but he said it is up to the swimmers and divers to realize their talent too.
“They know how to race and will show everyone at Patriots that Lehigh means business,” Herb said. “Our biggest challenge will be just relaxing and focusing on what needs to get done.”
Senior Kian O’Brien said the real competition lies in both the teams’ and the individuals’ mindsets.
“The biggest challenge we face is allowing our own minds to take us out of a competitive mindset,” O’Brien said. “The key is for us to limit outside distractions and encourage one another.”
He said the team is heading into the tournament with confidence and feeding off this positive energy will make the difference in the number of points they can score.
Army, Boston University and Bucknell will all be strong competition at the Patriot League Championship meet, however, Navy will be the team to beat during the event. The Midshipmen are seeded No.1 on both the men’s and women’s side and are expected to take home another Patriot League title.
“On the girls side, we are always very competitive with Army and Bucknell,” senior Kate Bergin said. “We think that we will outperform both of them this year.”
The Mountain Hawks have a common understanding that a victory will have to be the result of the team’s combined effort.
“We win and lose together,” Bergin said.
The men’s team also recognizes that every individual will have to contribute points in order to make the biggest impact at the meet.
“Everyone needs to step up,” O’Brien said. “Patriots is definitely a full team effort, and we’re looking for everyone to score at finals.”
A confident mentality will be key for both teams’ success. Focus, composure and encouragement will define Lehigh swimming and diving teams’ ability to face its competition.
This is O’Brien and Bergin’s last year competing. The two have had notable careers at Lehigh. Along with contributing immensely to the team the last four years, Bergin holds the freshman school record for fastest 400m Individual Medley, with a time of 4:26.95 and O’Brien has been named to the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll every year since his freshman season.
“I’m excited for one last meet with all the guys before my swimming career ends,” O’Brien said.