Hawks Swimming Closes Out 2011-12

Both the Men’s and Women’s teams had individual successes come their way during the weekend.

The New Paltz Men and Women’s Swim teams finished their 2011-12 campaign at the SUNYAC Championship Tournament the weekend of Feb. 9-11.

Going into the tournament weekend, the Men’s team compiled a 2-3 SUNYAC record and a 4-8 overall record. The Women’s team had an overall record of 9-3 and 5-0 record in SUNYAC competition. Both teams finished fourth at the tournament.

“I think we were very confident going into the tournament. We have a great group of guys,” fourth-year Men’s Captain Pete Nastasi said. “We thought we had a chance to finish second, but some of us didn’t have our best times.”

Swim team Head Coach Scott Whitbeck said unlike years prior, not having a diving team had a significant impact on both teams during the tournament.

“In years past, diving has always cost us some point, but this year it ended up costing both teams a place in the standings,” Whitbeck said. “Really, both teams should have finished higher.”

Both the Men’s and Women’s teams had individual successes come their way during the weekend. Third-year swimmer Yuka Suzuka finished first in the 100 backstroke and 200 individual medley relay. Both of these victories earned her a spot in the NCAA Div. III Tournament in March.

Men’s team fourth-year swimmer Jesse Sweeney set a new program record for the 100 backstroke, finishing second in the tournament race. Sweeney was named to the All-SUNYAC Second Team.

Last season, both teams graduated big-impact swimmers and will do the same with the close of this season. Nastasi said while many important swimmers will leave, the group of first-years that came in this year will be able to help fill in their roles.

“There are a lot of great guys that we’re going to lose, but the freshmen who came in this year definitely have some big shoes to fill,” Nastasi said.

Taylor Henshaw, fourth-year captain for the Women’s team, said both teams have welcomed potential recruits to campus and are hoping they are still interested in coming to the program.

“Recruiting is always important for us and we’re hoping that the people we’ve welcomed so far want to come swim for us next year,” Henshaw said.