The women’s swimming and diving team finished with a stellar 10-0 regular season record and posted 862 points at the Patriot League Championship, 102.5 points more than Navy, for a first-place finish. By winning the 2009 Patriot League Championship at Kinney Natatorium, the Raiders captured their second consecutive title.
Saturday’s championship ended in an exciting fashion with a record-setting performance by seniors Beverly Walker, Lisa Marchi, Emily Murphy and Ashley Bottger in the 400 free relay. The relay team broke school, pool and league records in their decisive victory.
Raiders Head Coach Stephen Jungbluth, who was honored as the Patriot League Women’s Coach of the Year after leading his team to perfection, had this to say about the sterling Class of 2009.
“To finish their careers the way that they did makes me feel overwhelmed with pride,” Jungbluth said about the team’s senior swimmers. “They did it the right way. They had more obstacles in their way than any other class, and had more expectation and more pressure. They forged themselves into champions. They deserve all the credit for all of their success.”
Elsewhere in the pool, the women’s team dominated on mutiple fronts. On Thursday (day one), Murphy took pool, school and Patriot League records in the 200 IM and teamed up with Bottger, Walker and first-year Emily Peck to win the 200 free relay. Colgate also took the 400 medley.
Last Friday (day two) was also a successful day for ‘Gate. Walker(100 back), Guyett (400 IM), Murphy (100 breast) and McGraw(100 fly) took home first, breaking school, conference and pool records in the proces. The Raiders also won gold in the 200 medley and 800 free.
Last Saturday was a great moment for the proud ‘Gate squad. McGraw(200 back) won her event in which four Raiders took place in the top 10. Bottger grabbed the 100 free, Murphy took the 200 breast and Guyett was tops in the 200 fly.
“The weekend was the single most amazing performance of any team that I have witnessed over in 15 years of coaching, and a few of my colleagues are calling me saying the same thing,” Jungbluth said.
All in all, despite the teams’ seemingly flawless season, the women’s team overcame considerable adversity in 2008 and 2009.
The 2008-2009 season “was the first time that we were favored to win. It was an incredibly daunting task,” Jungbluth said. “There were moments in our season when I believed we were throwing it all away with our behavior and lack of team chemistry. In spite of the 10-0 dual meet record and the amazing championship meet, there was a lot of turbulence. I’m proud of our players for overcoming all of it to pull together at the right moment.”
The men’s team finished the season with a dissapointing 2-8 record, but they ended their season with a respectable fifth-place finish at the Patriot League Championships.
Sophmore Tucker Gniwewek, first-year Costas Hadjipateras, and first-year Casey Powers each set Colgate records last Saturday. Gneiwek set the record for the 100 free with his foruth-place finish. Hadjipateras broke the record in the 200 fly that had stood since 2002. Finally, first-year Powers showcased Colgate’s young talent with a record-breaking performance. He broke the first-year school record for the 1650 by more than 11 seconds, a record that had stood since 1985.
The men’s team posted five more points than last year’s Patriot League Championship performance. Colgate’s 353 points this year were only 4.5 points behind fourth-place Lehigh, but a distant 658.5 points behind first-place Navy.
Both of Colgate’s teams’ swimmers, fans and Jungbluth expect big things from their teams next year. Coach Jungbluth hopes the men “will move up to fourth place” and expects “the women to win again.”
“I expect our women to not only compete on a national stage, but to prepare like national level athletes,” Jungbluth said.