ADA — There's an old adage — timing is everything. That notion rang true for the Ohio Northern women's swimming and diving team this past winter.

While the first part of the season was successful, the second half of the season was even more noteworthy for the Polar Bears. And it all culminated in a memorable Ohio Athletic Conference Championship meet. 

"It all came together in February," ONU head coach Austin Veltman said. "The way the girls supported each other and the way they swam made for a memorable weekend. I think leadership from the upperclassmen, as a whole, played role in making that happen."

Seniors Katelyn Koebel (Port Clinton) and Katey Stuart (Ada) were two seniors that helped make that happen. Both closed their careers in style, each boasting an All-OAC swim — Koebel in the 100-yard breaststroke and Stuart in the 200-yard breaststroke. 

"The senior women especially swam absolutely outstanding," Veltman said. "There we a lot of really nice standout swims at the OAC Championships."

Northern placed fourth at the OAC Championships. Junior Marissa Taylor (Granite Falls, N.C./South Caldwell) played a large role in that, boasting a pair of All-OAC swims in the 200- and 400-yard individual medleys. 

Sophomore Megan Lubinski (Milford/Brighton) and freshman Abby Schauer (Beavercreek) rounded out the All-OAC honorees. Lubinski logged her's in the 50-yard freestyle, while Schauer recorded her's in the 200-yard backstroke. 

"Top to bottom, across the board, we swam and competed so well," Veltman said. "It was a great season, in which we stepped up in big moments, and capped off with a very memorable OAC Championships. I'm very happy and very proud of them. Couldn't have asked them to do anything more."

ONU went 4-5 during the regular season, which included a 2-2 mark in conference competitions. The schedule included a road win at Wilmington and a home victory over Mount Union. 

Next year will mark the third one in the Veltman era. He can see his team taking the shape he envisioned upon accepting the position a couple years back. 

And with swimmers such as Taylor, Lubinski and Schauer returning in 2020-21, the Polar Bears have a strong core with which to build. 

"There's certainly more comfort," Veltman said. "When you get more and more comfortable with a training program, that usually leads to good things. We are still a young team and still building. I think we took some big strides this season, and I look forward to next year."