The State University of New York at New Paltz men’s and women’s swimming teams started their season off on Saturday, Oct. 20 when they traveled to Cortland to take on the Red Dragons in the Cortland Pumpkin Relay, followed by a meet at Hartwick College on Oct. 27.
“We went into the Cortland meet after some pretty tough practices, but we had a really good energy going,” said Hawks fourth-year Whitney Knowlton-Wardle. “It was really more of a fun, season-starter meet.”
The Hawks finished second out of the five participating teams on both the men’s and women’s side with 522 points for the women and 510 for the men, which trailed only the Red Dragons with 570 and 614 respectively.
Host SUNY Cortland placed first in 14 out of the 15 events, but the Hawks were able to edge out Cortland in the women’s 200 yard medley relay, featuring first-year Tori Bogdanski, second-year Lindsay Kranitz, second-year Tessa Griger and fourth-year Nicole Lee (1:58.11), and the women’s 300-yard backstroke relay consisting of third-year Chelsea Angulas, Lee and Griger (3 minutes, 11.73 seconds).
The men failed to finish first in any of the 15 events, but were able to secure a handful of second place finishes in the 650 yard 50-100-200-300 relay, 3×100 yard backstroke relay, 3×100 yard breaststroke relay, 3×100 yard butterfly relay, 200 yard freestyle relay and 200 yard medley relay.
“We were very happy with our first meet of the season,” said fourth-year Katie Donlevy. “Almost everyone is getting back into a racing mindset and getting a feel for the water again. Our attitudes and our excitement for one another’s races was the highlight of the meet.”
New Paltz then traveled to Oneonta, NY to compete against Hartwick College and Kings College Saturday, Oct. 27 where they once again finished second out of the five competing teams.
Once again, the men failed to take home a first place finish, as the women continued to dominate, taking home seven first place finishes including a 2:03.47 time in the 200 yard freestyle and 1:01.89 time in the 100 yard butterfly by Donlevy, 1:03.58 and 2:18.80 time in the 100 yard and 200 yard backstroke respectively by Angulas and a 1:10.00 time in the 100 yard backstroke by Kranitz.
“At our first regular format meet against Hartwick college and King’s college we had some pretty good swims and a few personal bests from underclassmen, which is rare to see this early in the season,” Knowlton-Wardle said.
The Hawks will now look ahead to their first home meet of the season against Adelphi University on Saturday, Nov. 10.
“We’re flush with young athletes, so it takes a bit of time for them to understand how the program works,” said Hawks head coach Tom Eickelberg. “But the efforts have been excellent in practice, and the team is remarkably close with each other.”