Lady Hawks Swim Laps Around Competition

The New Paltz Women’s Swim team bested SUNY Oneonta with a score of 130-75, marking their last home meet for the 2012-13 season, as well as final dual meet of the year on Saturday, Jan. 26.

With a team of both freshmen and veterans who have surprised him, Head Coach Scott Whitbeck said he is proud of their performance.

“We have done exceptionally well,”  Whitbeck said. “This team has both top end talent and depth. I knew we had a very solid recruiting class and returned a veteran group of strong swimmers, but I’ve really been pleasantly surprised with our results so far.”

In an effort to be in shape for this year’s season, the ladies have spent time in the weight room improving their overall strength and race pace. Whitbeck said each swimmer is held to a high standard during practice, which elevates the entire team.

“I’ve spent some more time doing race simulation work and teaching swimmers to get up and sprint a lot,” Whitbeck said. “The biggest difference from past years, though, might be that the team really encourages and pushes each other to excel every day.”

Third-year Co-captain Chelsea Allocco is proud of the swimming team’s performance. She said the swimmers who place third and fourth in races are important to the team and attributes much of the team’s success to a combination of 10 strong freshmen and Whitbeck.

“We encourage the freshmen to kind of integrate with the team and they all came in as being really good swimmers as it was and Scott is a really good coach, so they’ve all been improving,” Allocco said. “I think we’ve been pushing them and they’ve been pushing themselves at each meet to do the best that they can. They’re just making a difference.”

The constantly improving chemistry between each member is another key factor to their performance, something that is worked upon and enhanced every year, she said.

“I think we’ve just been getting along a lot better as a team,” Allocco said. “It’s a lot easier to work hard when you’re doing it for your teammates. The team is always cheering, so that’s helpful.”

For their next meet, the team is heading out to Skidmore College for the Skidmore Sprint Invitational at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 2. This will be the final meet before participating in the SUNYAC Swimming and Diving Championships.

Allocco said she is confident in the team’s ability to endure and to do well in both the meet and the Championships.

“I’m hoping that people will still give their best and just continue to do what we’ve been doing — working hard and trying to get their hand on the wall first, and the same goes for [the] SUNYACs,” Allocco said.