Raiders Get Wet: Swimming and Diving Teams Kick Off Season At Lineberry Natatorium



Exhausted and sopping in wet nylon suits, the Raider swimming team had no regrets. The men’s squad had just lost its second meet to Boston College by nine-tenths of a second. The final result had come down to the last relay, the last second, the last stroke – but even as the last of the swimmers stooped to collect his goggles from the deck, no one seemed unhappy. “Everybody poured all they had left into that last relay,” senior captain Mike Gentithes said. “I was proud of how the whole team responded in supporting one another in that race. That was the performance that sticks out the most in my mind.” Good competition is always close; scores seesawed throughout the meet, but eventually tied at 130 before the 400m IM. After placing second, third, seventh and eighth in the event, the squad was down by nine points, meaning that victory hinged on taking the first two spots in the last relay. In an attempt to increase their chances, Raider coaches and team members decided to rearrange the order of swimmers. “We made the decision on the last relay to go for a victory rather than accept a tie,” Gentithes said.””I don’t think anyone feels regret about trying to win.” The women’s team also competed against and lost to BC, falling by a score of 188-112. Although this meet resulted in a more decisive victory for the opponent, team members felt strongly that it was a learning experience for the new swimmers, especially the first-years. Senior captain Caitlin Craumer found the meet to be a good start and a springboard for future competitions. “It was our first home meet and a new experience for [first-years], so I think everyone was excited to begin with,” Craumer said. “It has been awhile since we’ve all raced together in our own pool.” Packed into bleachers like sardines, the home crowd’s enthusiasm rivaled the tension of the meet. The girls had a relatively strong start, placing second, third and fifth in the 200m medley relay and first in the 200m freestyle, won by junior Katherine Del Prato. First-year Kacy Reams also took first place in the 100m breaststroke by two-tenths of a second, touching out her opponent in 1:08:68. The men had many other excellent finishes as well. Gentithes took first in the 200m freestyle with a time of 1:47:76, while junior Marc Falkner placed second in the 100m breaststroke. The squad also dominated the 100m backstroke event, as sophomore Greg Dunlavey and junior Levi Benson snatched first and second place, respectively. Dunlavey, a Patriot League finalist, is the record holder for both the 100m and 200m backstroke. After sophomore Zach Grobengieser won the 50m freestyle, the score was just about leveled. The team needed something to change. “During the first break we had a quick team meeting and realized how neck and neck we were,” Gentithes said. “After that, everyone picked up their intensity and their approaches toward races became more focused.” Colgate’s crew of divers rounded up the points after sweeping the one-meter and three-meter events, as seniors Jen Busby and Lane Ellis both swept the two events for the Raiders. Diving head coach Steve Jungbluth indicated that this Colgate diving team is arguably one of the strongest in the league. The wins snowballed after the one-meter diving event. Grobengieser swam an inspirational race to win the 100m freestyle, while first-year Colby Seamans followed that up with her own victory in the 200m backstroke. For the men, Dunlavey showed strength in the same event, taking first place with a time of 1:58:62. Despite the dogged perseverance, victory slipped from the men’s hands by nine-tenths of a second. The swimmers indicated that no one was disappointed; for them, the upcoming period of training carried more significance. From a coach’s viewpoint, the meet served as an important benchmark of the team’s improvement. “We’re in a much better spot compared to last year,” Jungbluth said. “The swimmers have learned a lot about themselves; they’ve matured and are more confident in their approaches to training and races.” The teams do not have a meet until October 30, when the squads will compete against Army. Until then, Gentithes hopes to improve upon weaknesses that were spotted in the first two meets. He claims that focusing on the technical intricacies when training becomes more laborious is the greatest challenge of the sport. Times are not a consideration at this point. Record-breaking comes later; for now, the team has goals to set. “We’re focusing on the details of training, as opposed to how far they are off of their lifetime best performances,” Jungbluth said. “Right now, it’s a matter of how well they can pace themselves, warm up, warm down and things like that.”