The New Paltz men’s and women’s swimming teams defeated Purchase College in their home opener on Friday, Nov. 10 with the former beating the Panthers 79-51 and the latter cruising to a 90-75 victory.
In their respective wins, second-year Cooper Knapp and third-year Jaimie Kaefer each broke Elting Pool records, with Knapp breaking a program record as well.
“[Knapp] is setting himself up to have a nice NCAA career,” said Hawks head coach Tom Eickelberg. “He’s a guy I’m really excited to watch develop as a backstroke as well as an all around swimmer.”
Knapp, the 2016-17 State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) Rookie of the Year clocked a time of 1:52.96 in the 200-yard individual medley. Fourth-year Kevin Sales came in second behind Knapp, touching the wall at 2:13.19.
“At our Hartwick meet, I swam the same event and went a [time of] 1:58,” Knapp said. “My plan was to swim it at our next home meet and go for the pool record since I was less than a second off.
“However, I did not expect to pull off a five second drop and break both records. As a team we all performed our bests against Purchase and were happy to have multiple best times along with the three records broken.”
Kaefer followed suit by recording a time of 2:09.59 in the women’s 200-yard individual medley, with second-year Samantha Woll coming in second at 2:24.99. Kaefer’s time ranks eighth in the NCAA Div. III.
“It’s huge, she set a pool record by almost four seconds,” Eickelberg said. “It’s really exciting how good she can be.”
Other notable performances include fourth-year Caleb Treadwell and third-year Nicole Lee placing first in the men’s and women’s 200-yard freestyle with times of 1:53.72 and 2:08.90, respectively.
Third-year Katie Donlevy also anchored the team that sealed the win for the Hawks in the 400-yard freestyle relay. The team also featured fourth-year Megan Joseph, third-year Kaleigh O’Halloran and Lee.
“After a great first year, we are only looking to improve further,” Knapp said about building off last season. “I am hoping to make a few more national cuts this year and not just individually. Coach Eickelberg has thought a lot about this season and has some pretty special things planned. There are still plenty of surprises to come.
“With a large class graduating this year, every one of us is putting everything we have into our training. So get ready to see New Paltz Swimming do some surprising stuff in the pool this year.”
Up next for the Hawks is a meet with cross-river rival Vassar College on Friday, Nov. 17 at 5 p.m. followed by a matinee performance on Saturday, Nov. 18 at home against Hamilton College. That meet starts at 1 p.m.