The change from 2A to 3A: is less more?

Ian Page, Senior Writer

As an athlete at Liberty, the sudden change from 3A to 2A has impacted me first hand. This winter season will be the first time that the mens swim and dive team is competing at the 2A level.

And with this new athletic classification come some major changes. These changes will bring an interesting change to the way our team’s seasons play out.

In 2A mens swim, the times to qualify have become slower will impact the way our team operates this season. For example, the qualifying time for the 500 freestyle, one of the hardest races in swimming, has gone from the 3A time of 5:38.9 all the way to 6:17.0. This is a change of 38 seconds, and it means that Liberty swimmers will be competing at an easier standard than ever before.

While this means we can send more swimmers to the post season, how can we compare ourselves to our former 3A competitors if we have it easier than they do? For the most part we are still going up against the same 3A teams we did last year and therefore won’t experience nearly any change in the regular season.

We are expected to be equal to them in competitiveness in our JV and Varsity race times. But what a lot of people don’t realize is that our new 2A title won’t really affect our team until the post-season. We still go head to head against the same teams we have in the past until we get to our District meets and our State competitions. So this title of 2A doesn’t have as huge of an impact as most people usually believe it does.

Every Liberty sports team has been affected in a different way, from changes in competitors to changes in qualifying times for teams like swim and dive, cross country and track. This fall season womens swim and dive has gone undefeated, our football team is 5-2, and our golf team is going to State. It seems that our athletics are doing better than ever, regardless of what superficial labels are applied to our ability to compete.

It’s too soon to see exactly how we will be affected by the change, but with our other sports teams doing so well against our 3A rivals I’m very hopeful to see where this year of swim as a 2A school takes us. It will be exciting to see if the new 2A mens swim team can share in the success that is being seen in our other athletic teams.