By Jared Prenda
The Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving team continued its streak of dominance following a cross-division sweep over Division II Barton College. The men’s team won the Landmark Conference title last season, while the women placed second. The teams entered the new season ranked first in the conference and have now won all four meets this season, but were still considered a 10-point underdog against Barton. They defeated the Bulldogs with scores of 149-113 for the women and 175-83 for the men.
The sweep began with the 200-medley relays, where the women’s team comprised of freshmen Caroline Beal and Morgan James, as well as seniors Basira Knight and Rachel Chain. The squad got the first-place time of 1:56.27.
The men’s race was much closer, with sophomores Olivier Nguyen, George Isaacs, and Kevin Jay leaving their freshman teammate and anchor Matt Mahon a .18 second gap to overcome. The rookie made up the ground and out touched his opponent by a mere .16 seconds for first, with a final time of 1:38.88.
The team feels confident with their performances so far in the young season.
“We’re feeling pretty confident. We have a strong freshman class this year to make up for our large class that graduated last year,” Isaacs said. “We held Scranton to under 100 points a couple weeks ago. We beat them by 200 points at conferences last year, and they were the second-place team.”
The women carried on the sweep, when Chain (1:04.74) won the 100-backstroke event, and was followed by junior Rachel Zarlinski (1:06.18) and sophomore Emily Tighe (1:06.47).
Later in the meet, James won both the 50-freestyle (25.52) and the 100-freestyle (55.54) while junior teammate Emily Messina took the top spot of the 200-butterfly with a final time of 2:21.57. She was joined on the men’s side when the Cards took the top three times of the same event. Sophomore Luke Nicholson (2:03.09) took first while Senior Peter Bajorek (2:07.21) and junior David Lanetti (2:07.96) followed in second and third respectively.
Junior Sam Hicks won the 200-freestyle with a time of 1:48.58. Isaacs hit the wall in 23.00 to win the 50-freestyle with classmates and relay teammates Nguyen (49.55) winning the 100-freestyle and Jay (54.61) taking the top spot of the 100-butterfly.
With all of this success, the team is feeling confident, and look to achieve a perfect season in their dual meets. Despite this they understand they have a long road ahead of them.
“Last year we all got sick right before conferences, so we’re working on staying healthy. Our next big meet is our mid-season invitational meet against 6 other strong teams,” Isaacs said. “Our proudest feat of this year though is making top 50 in the nation for D-III schools. At the beginning of last year, we were 110th, so that’s a huge improvement.”
The Cardinals look to continue to roll on as they host their next meet against conference rivals Elizabethtown. The meet will take place on Saturday, November 11th at 1 PM at the Dufour Center’s Pool.