Published: October 9, 2014
The University’s men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams jump back into competition Oct. 17.
Last year, the men’s team finished the season with a 4-7 record. The Landmark Conference Tournament marked the team’s final action of the year. The Royals placed fourth out of nine teams.
After a long offseason, the Royals are looking forwrad to get back into the water and to begin competing for another exciting year. The team has a plethora of experienced members returning, as well as a slew of younger players.
Senior Kyle Burnett said the team is expecting big things this year, and he cited the youth of the team as a main reason for his excitement.
“We have a great freshman class. They’re really good. In previous years, it’s been kind of a struggle getting kids involved, but this year we’re very excited. Last year we had good freshmen too. But this year we just have so much depth,” Burnett said.
Burnett, from Cedar Grove, New Jersey said the work ethic of the new faces has impressed the rest of the team thus far.
“We have time trials now, and they look really good, even just doing those things. They’re ready to swim and they’re happy to be there,” Burnett said.
Burnett also noted the upperclassmen on the team are trying their best to make sure the younger members feel at home.
“We’ll go to Buffalo Wild Wings with like 12 of them. Sometimes they’ll come over and just hang out. They’re really adjusting well,” Burnett said.
Burnett and the rest of the team is hoping the talented youth can help the team drastically improve from last year. The ultimate goal is to do better within the Landmark Conference.
“Last year, we didn’t do so hot, unfortunately. Honestly, I think we could hit third place in the conference. That’s the strong goal. Third or second place,” Burnett said.
Like the men’s team, the women’s team is looking to build on last year’s successes. In the 2014-15 season, the women’s team finished with a record of 7-5. They placed third in the Landmark Conference Tournament.The women’s team is excited about the youthful team as well.
Junior Emma Sommers echoed Burnett’s thoughts about the underclassmen, saying this year has the potential to be very special.
“The last time the girls won was in 2010. Our coach always says the big goal is to win the conference championships. He keeps recruiting classes, hoping to build for the future. This year, there’s a huge incoming first-year class,” Sommers said.
“We lost some good senior girls, but all their places are going to be filled by the incoming swimmers. I feel like we’re going to be pretty good.”
Sommers’ teammate junior Jessica Schmidt thinks the impressive first-year class has the potential to break records.
“I think all the records that were broken last year are going to be re-broken, especially the relays with the freshmen on them,” Schmidt said.
Schmidt also alluded to the special type of camaraderie on the swimming and diving team. Although the men and women compete separately, they act as one cohesive unit during the season.
“We’re excited. There’s a lot of team enthusiasm, because the boys and the girls swim together, so it’s really like one, big family. Most teams don’t have that because the men and women don’t practice and compete together. It really unifies all of us,” Schmidt said.
Paul DeAngelo is the head coach for both teams. The swimming and diving teams hit the water 1 p.m. Oct. 17 vs. FDU-Florham.
Contact the writer: firstname.lastname@example.org