By Matt Mascolo
Junior swimmer Mirno Pasquali heads into this weekend’s last chance meet hoping to solidify a spot in Nationals in March. The outstanding junior earned a “B” cut time this past weekend at the conference championship meet in the 200-yard backstroke, an event he hopes he’ll be participating in at Nationals.
“Making nationals is always a goal,” Pasquali said. “It’s something I have wanted for a long time now. I just missed the cut last year so it would be special to make it.”
Pasquali has not only improved his times from a year ago, but also added events to his repertoire, giving him more chances to succeed.
“Mirno is a talented swimmer. He will get up and swim anything I ask of him and he will do it with the same energy he does with his favorite events,” head coach Erin Detwiler said. “Our hope this season was to make nationals and improve his 200 backstroke time.”
Pasquali has already significantly improved his 200 backstroke time, earning a school record at the conference championship meet. He credits his teammates for having a hand in his improvement.
“I couldn’t have done the times I did without those guys and girls around, and I am pretty sure that is the same for everyone,” said Pasquali. “It’s a very team-oriented individual sport. You need them.”
Mirno currently places 10th in Division III in the 200 backstroke, a mark he hopes to improve upon this coming weekend. Though the last chance meet provides some added pressure to the junior swimmer, he continues to remain focused and relaxed in his preparations.
“We are practicing easier this week just to feel good again in the water, let our bodies recover a little bit, and just get into a good relaxed mood,” said Pasquali. “This week is just about revamping and relaxing.”
Pasquali hopes his relaxed approach will provide the opportunity to shave some time off of both the 100 and 200 backstrokes. He has up to four opportunities this weekend to improve each race. Any improvements will help him, as a lot of other swimmers’ times do shift around in these last chance meets.
Nationals or not for Pasquali, Detwiler still feels he should be very proud of what he’s accomplished thus far.
“An athlete cannot complain with a season where they get their name on a record board,” she said. “An invite to nationals will give him another opportunity to swim fast against the best in our division would be icing on the cake.”