Swimming tests waters

Under the reign of new head coach Erin Detwiler, men and women’s swimming improved from last year’s finishes of sixth and fifth, respectively, and earned third place in the NCAC Relays hosted by Kenyon College Saturday.

Women’s diving also placed first in the one-meter dive and third in the three-meter dive, while men’s diving took fourth in the one-meter and fifth in the three-meter.

After Danielle Lindner resigned last April, Detwiler was hired from her assistant coaching position at Emory University, where she helped lead the swimmers to a Division III National Championship.

In addition, she competed at nationals all four years as an undergraduate at Kenyon College, Allegheny rival and NCAA swimming powerhouse.

Detwiler brings with her not only her coaching and swimming experience, but also some different coaching methods that are markedly more rigorous.

“For the upperclassmen, this is the hardest we’ve practiced here in the two, three, or four years that we’ve been [at Allegheny],” said swimmer Ashley Whitehead, ’11.

Detwiler demands more in the water and in the weight room.

“It’s high-intensity, very technique-oriented training, and so far it looks like it’s working,” said Detwiler.

Despite Detwiler’s heightened intensity during practices, she and the team have bonded.

“I feel like there’s a good trust between me and the kids and my assistant coach,” she said. “We’re a pretty tight-knit team for having a brand-new coach.”

A fresh perspective ontheir new coach is the key to the team’s unity.

“The thing about this year is everybody’s willing to give [Detwiler] a shot,” said Whitehead.

The team  hopes for a top-three finish in the NCAC this season.

“Speaking for the diving side, we’d really like to see our men in the top five at championships and our women in the top three,” said diver Bridget Donnelly, ’11. “That’s just going to come by hard work.”

Allegheny will compete next in a non-conference meet Oct. 30 in Grove City at 1 p.m. They will return to NCAC competition Nov. 19 against Oberlin.