Raider Swimming and Diving Teams Tune Up For Patriot League Championships

 

 

Beina Xu

For the Colgate men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams, judgment day looms just a week and a half away. Last weekend’s Bison Invitational aided their preparation for the Patriot League Championship, which will take place in Bucknell’s pool on February 24.”Most of our swimmers were just doing swims to tune up for championships and to get used to the pool at Bucknell for next weekend,” senior co-captain Mike Gentithes said. “The team performed well, and we feel confident heading into PLC’s.”The women’s squad won seven events, including junior Amy Cole’s double win in both the 200-yard IM and the 400-yard IM. She touched in with personal best times of 2:17.58 and 4:43.69, respectively. Senior captain Caroline Curtis also took top honors in the 50-yard free and 100-yard free, and was followed closely in the 50-yard free by first-year Allie Lenci and sophomore Keriann Fitzsimmons, who placed second and third, respectively.Sophomore Danielle Graham snatched a first place finish in her 200-yard free event, while first-year Magdalena Mango won the 100-yard breaststroke. “Most of us decided to swim events we don’t normally get to do,” senior Caitlin Craumer said. “It was fun to mix it up a bit, but it didn’t really say anything about how we’re going to swim at Patriots.”The most significant achievement for the women’s team, however, was the new school record set by junior Emily McAuliff in the three-meter dive. McAuliff rounded out the meet by winning the event and shattering senior teammate Jen Busby’s school record by 12 points. Her score for the 11 dives was an astounding 471.45.”Emily had the meet of her life,” Busby said. “She dove beautifully throughout the day; it was exciting and inspiring to watch Emily dive because it just goes to show that hard work and consistency really pays off.”For the divers, the Invitational was a “huge stepping stone for the PLC’s,” as Busby put it, and performances such as McAuliff’s can only encourage the team.Although the men did not win any events, senior Aaron Weddle, who swam the 100-yard breaststroke, set a personal best time in his event. Sophomore Greg Dunlavey and senior co-captain Greg Jachno both set new personal best times in the 100-yard butterfly as well. The meet was an opportunity to swim against their Patriot League opponents, in preparation for the real challenge that lies in the weeks ahead. The focus, however, was not on the competition from other teams. Swimmers made a conscious effort to streamline their thoughts onto their own events and technique, ignoring all outside pressures.”We don’t pay attention to the other teams really, since we don’t have control over how fast they swim,” Craumer said. “We swim best when we just worry about ourselves. I think everyone is excited for Patriot’s; I know there is some fast swimming and great diving in store for this team.” Both teams have a week and a half to train and prepare for the Patriot League Championships, which get underway on Thursday at Bucknell. Time trials begin at 10 a.m. on Thursday morning and the meet will run until Saturday evening.