SUNY New Paltz men’s swimming team traveled to Vassar College on Friday, Nov. 15 at 5 p.m. Going into the tri-meet, the Hawks knew they would have some tough competition: the hosting Brewers and Franklin & Marshall College.
Last weekend the men performed exceptionally against a Division II school. Unfortunately, this weekend they struggled to match their skill level. The Hawks fell to both the Brewers and the Diplomats.
For the men, the day kicked off with the 200-yard medley relay. Out of the five teams who placed in the event, New Paltz came in third. Third-year Nolan West and second-years Akiva Garfield, Luke Gamboli and Jared Finn worked together to give the Hawks a final time of 1:42:31, just behind Vassar’s 1:41:26.
The Hawks improved a little with their next event of the day, but still fell short to Vassar. Second-year Ethan Bonney came in second place. Bonney swam well, as his time of 10:07:63 was an improvement of last weeks’ 10:08:74.
Vassar performed strongly in the beginning as they clinched the next event, too. The 200-yard freestyle saw 10 swimmers. The Brewer’s third-year Max White took first place, followed by the Diplomats taking second and third. As always, a highlight for the Hawks is second-year Mitchell Chappell. Chappell came in first for New Paltz and fourth overall for the event with a time of 1:50:33. Chappell also came in first for New Paltz in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 22.95.
By the end of the meet, Franklin & Marshall College ended up seceding Vassar, with their swimmers capping 10 events of the day. Unfortunately, the New Paltz men’s team did not place first in any event of the day as Vassar took the remaining six.
Still, the Hawks saw some strong performances. Nolan did well in the 100-yard backstroke, placing fourth out of eight. Garfield placed third in the 100-yard breaststroke, followed by first-year Zachary Brown. Finn also secured a third place finish in the 100-yard freestyle.
Additionally, first-year Owen Rowlands swam his first collegiate 1,000-yard freestyle and 200-yard breaststroke. His breaststroke clocked in at 2:22:68, the fastest time swam by a team member so far this season.
Rowlands said it felt nice to swim those events for the first time in his collegiate career.
“I was very happy with my breaststroke,” Rowlands said. “My time was the fastest on the team so far which is great, but I am more happy that my time was my best in season time.”
When asked about goals for the rest of the season, Rowlands said he wants to get personal bests in the 200 and 400 individual medley and 200 breaststroke at SUNYACs.
“So far this team as a whole has been working very hard in the pool and in the weight room,” he said. “I think we are all going to do great in February at the SUNYACs. We have such a strong breaststroke group and we always push each other to get better in practice.”
On Friday, Nov. 22 the Hawks have a chance to redeem themselves in their Green Out Game. Rowlands added that he wants fans to come and support. This time they will have home pool advantage, as they are welcoming Hamilton College to the Elting Pool at 6 p.m. Since it’s still so early in the season, the Hawks have the opportunity to turn things around and bring back some wins. No one can deny the talent on this team.