By Bud Denega
ADA — The Ohio Northern women's swimming and diving team has high goals for the 2019-20 season. Many of those aspirations revolve around the Ohio Athletic Conference Championships in mid February.
In order to chase and eventually attain those lofty marks, second-year head coach Austin Veltman has his team focused on the little steps necessary to achieve said goals.
"On a day-to-day basis, my goal is to do everything I can to help our swimmers get faster," Veltman said. "… Train hard and support your teammates, and if they do that, then I'm happy. That's my expectation. One of our team goals every year is to qualify for the NCAA Championships and win the OAC, but if we get better and we do those things, the season will be a success."
The Polar Bears held a 4-4 overall record last season, which included a 3-1 mark in OAC competition. Northern finished the year placing third, in a field of five, at the OAC Championships.
ONU brings back a wealth of experience. Six of the top-10 point-earners at last year's OAC Championships return in 2019-20.
Sophomore Megan Lubinski (Milford/Brighton) burst onto the scene as a freshman. She collected 73.5 points at the conference meet and garnered four All-OAC honors.
Junior Marissa Taylor (Granite Falls, N.C./South Caldwell) and sophomore Mya Parsons (Castle Rock, Colo./Arapahoe) also reeled in all-conference honors. Taylor earned a pair of All-OAC honors en route to recording 60 team points, and Parsons logged 50.5 team points and boasted one all-conference honor.
Junior Kaity Kelly (Fremont/Ross) rounds out the top-10 returnees, as she registered 26.5 team points and earned an all-conference award, as well.
Six other Polar Bears return in 2019-20 that scored points at last year's conference meet, while Veltman and company welcome a freshmen class of seven into the fold.
Northern begins the season at the Kenyon Relays Saturday. The Polar Bears open their home slate Oct. 26 against John Carroll, while they finish up the season at the conference championships in Akron Feb. 13-15.