Pioneer men and women’s swimming team took their first dive into the 2011-2012 winter season this past weekend in a double dual meet at West Virginia Wesleyan College with a new face leading the team.
Within the past three years, Pioneer swimming has had three new head coaches, this being the third and hopefully making it a charm with new head coach Brian Peresie.
“It’s tough getting adjusted to each coach’s personality and the way they run things,” junior distance swimmer Casey Meeson said. “But the team is excited to finally have a stable foundation this year with Coach Peresie.”
Peresie was announced the new Pioneer men’s and women’s swimming head coach in late April when one-year coach, Alex Keyser, resigned from the job to take the head coach position at his alma mater Asbury (KY) University.
Peresie, who was a 2000 graduate of Ohio University, served as an assistant swimming coach and recruiting coordinator for Ohio University for eight straight seasons, and helped lead the Bobcat women to the MAC championship last season; along with two MAC team titles in the last three seasons he served there.
Peresie is bringing his abilities to Pioneer swimming from his experience at Ohio University. He is taking the team to a whole new level in the pool with 5:30 a.m. practices and two day lifting sessions per week.
“He is a very team orientated coach,” Meeson said. “We have a great atmosphere when it comes to race time; everyone is cheering for everyone. It’s fantastic!”
“He is a lot more technical,” Meeson said. “He shows us what we’re doing wrong and how to correct our mistakes. His workouts are tough, and they drain you, but the team keeps you going. He has high expectations for us and we, as team, have our eye on the prize.”
According to Meeson, Peresie has not only brought intensity to the program, but also sportsmanship as well, and has created a team oriented atmosphere this year for the Pioneers.
[pullquote]He is a very team orientated coach,” Meeson said. “We have a great atmosphere when it comes to race time; everyone is cheering for everyone. It’s fantastic!”[/pullquote]
Meeson also talked a lot about the teammate’s effort on becoming a well-rounded athlete, and focusing on their characters in and out of the pool.
“We want to be well known in Ohio for being swimmers of character,” Meeson said. “Behind the blocks we’re wishing good luck to the other teams and we wait for everyone to finish. “
After long mornings in the pool, weight training, and team sportsmanship; Pioneer swimming hopes that this year is the start to a new beginning.
“We put in a lot of time for a reason, “ Meeson said. “ It’s not to be good but to be great. If you are dedicated to that you’re a right fit for the team. I feel that we will get better each season. A couple years from now you will see Malone making a splash at the GLIAC and at Nationals. It’s progression for us down the road.”
The Pioneers will swim next on Nov. 4th at 6 p.m. at Hiram College.
Tina Oprean is a staff writer for Aviso AVW.