By Tim Glon
The Ohio Northern men's swimming and diving team opened its 2016-17 season by placing third at the Kenyon Relays and the Denison Diving Meet on Saturday.
The teams swam at Kenyon and the divers competed at Denison.
The Polar Bears were third of eight teams with 108 points and and had third place finishes in seven of the eight relays races in the meet.
Denison won the team title with 164 points, Kenyon was second with 128 points and Wooster was fourth with 74 points.
Senior Eric Chen (Mason) led the Ohio Northern effort by competing on five of those seven relay teams.
He was on the 200 medley relay team that was third in 1:37.70, on the 200 back relay (1:41.14), the 500 crescendo relay (4:17.43), the 200 fly relay (1:37.90) and the 200 free relay (1:27.42).
Northern also finished third in the 200 breast (1:52.55) and the 400 I.M. relay (3:45.54).
Senior John Raker (Lebanon/Lakota West) and sophomore Pete He (Mason) were on four relay teams each and junior Thomas Golba (Kettering/Archbishop Alter) and sophomore Anthony Ferrell (Canton/Glen Oak) were each on three of thise top relay teams.
"Beginning our competitive season with total team events, relays, is an amazing way to kick off the season," ONU head coach Peggy Ewald said. "It's always great competition at this meet, swimming the nation's best in DIII, Kenyon & Denison along with others from the NCAC. We were excited to step up and have some fun testing the fast water in Gambier.
"We are able to learn and take away the areas we are executing well and had our eyes opened to areas we need to stay committed to and make the changes needed to keep progressing.
This season has been a reset year. Reset the team approach and attitude. We have worked the plan well for three weeks, and today got to see some of that work unfold. More is ahead of us.
"We will need to stay focused and rise to challenges as we push the team outside their comfort zone to see growth. Overall, it felt good to see them racing and supporting each other as a team."
The Polar Bears will return to action Oct. 28 when they open Ohio Athletic Conference action when they host Wilmington at 6 pm at the ONU Sports Center Natatorium.