COSHOCTON – With a solid returning class, expectations were high for the Coshocton swimming team this season.
Now, following a season full of great finishes, four swimmers will showcase their skills on the biggest stage Thursday through Saturday at the Division II state tournament at C.T. Branin Natatorium in Canton.
“It’s very exciting to be taking four boys to state again this year,” Coshocton coach Julia Shaw said. “I am so proud of everything they and the entire team has accomplished this season.”
Seniors Brian Rogers and Patrick Brouse, along with juniors Cody McVay and Bryce Philabaum, qualified together in the 200 medley relay; Philabaum also made it individually in the 100 backstroke.
The relay team is tied for the 19th best qualifying time out of 24 teams (1:42.95) while Philabaum’s time (53.9) ranks him ninth among 24 competitors.
It will be the second state appearance for Rogers and Philabaum, who were each on the 200 medley relay and 400 freestyle relay that finished 14th and 16th respectively last year to receive All-Ohio honors.
Philabaum also was 15th in the 100 backstroke last year to earn All-Ohio.
According to Rogers and Philabaum, building on the program’s success from last season was special and not as easy as people may think. The team put in a lot of hours of practice to get to this point, and not just in the pool.
“We do yoga, Insanity Workouts and use cardio bands when we are not lifting, but we also mix in some running with all that every day,” Rogers said. “Then mostly in the evening and on nonmeet days, we swim around 6,500 meters a day in the pool.”
Philabaum estimated with all the workouts, they burn close to 2,500 calories a day and can’t really afford to take a day off.
“You can’t just miss practice because you are tired,” he said. “This is the kind of sport where you have to stay in shape all season and have your body in optimal shape all season long so that you can swim your best.”
Philabaum said he thinks the recent run to state is just the beginning of a new era for the program, adding he hopes to finish the year off on a positive note.
“Coshocton going to state for swimming is pretty uncommon so to send four guys to state two years in a row confirms we have a solid program,” he said. “Our relay team is shooting to get in the top 16, and I figured a good goal in my event would be to finish in the top eight.”
Shaw agreed and is just as excited as the kids for the state meet.
“They set goals like this at the beginning of the season, and this was something they really wanted to achieve,” she said. “We are all hoping they can make the top 16 in order to be able to claim All-Ohio status again.”