Winning is nothing new for men’s swim team captain John Hughes, and he delivered another dominating performance last weekend.
Hughes, a senior from Lancaster, was honored this week as he earned the Landmark Conference male swimmer of the week award. When the Royals hosted Widener University Saturday at the Byron Complex, the captain won the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:00.95. It marked the 20th time he finished first in a dual-meet competition.
Aside from being crowned the 2012 Landmark Conference 100 breaststroke champion, Hughes holds the Royals’ record for the race after he posted a time of 0:59.06 in the 2012 conference tournament. He has been a driving force of this swim team since he began his career at Scranton four seasons ago. Hughes has never missed a meet for the Royals.
“I love this sport so much, I knew I’ve always wanted to swim in college,” Hughes said. “After coming to college, it took awhile to find a good balance of school work, lifting and swimming. Finally it all started clicking, and I have improved a lot. I think I’ve been able to go so fast because of the teammates I’ve had. They’re the ones pushing me at practice to see how much faster I can go, and that has really pushed my limits and made me a lot better.”
Along with the first-place finish in the 100 breaststroke Saturday, Hughes swam in the 200 medley relay, which finished first, and finished second in the 200 breaststroke. With the help of his teammates, Hughes and the Royals defeated Widener 151-111.
Sophomore Nicholas Henning, junior Adrian Silva and sophomore Grant Owens joined Hughes in the 200-medley first-place finish with a time of 1:40.67.
Sophomore Mitchell Colby continued to excel as he finished first place in the 1000 free with a time of 11:04.76.
Colby has made his mark on this team since coming to Scranton one year ago, as he already holds five school records. His most notable performance came last season on Jan. 5 when the Royals hosted the Merchant Marine Academy, which is ranked first in the conference year-in and year-out. Colby set the Scranton record in the 1000 free with a time of 10:09.36, almost a full minute faster than the performance he put in to still finish first Saturday.
The Royals have looked sharp coming out of the gates, going 3-0 over the first three meets of the season. Scranton was ranked third in the Landmark Conference preseason poll, and the team looks to move up in the rankings as the season goes on.
“I think our team is off to a great start, and our 3-0 record to start the season reflects that. We have a smaller team than teams in the past, but it is a close knit team, and a lot of people are playing big roles on the team,” Hughes said.
Scranton will look to stay unbeaten when non-conference opponent Dickinson College comes to town Nov. 2 at the Byron Center. Dickinson lost its first meet of the season to Ursinus.
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