The Men’s Swimming team’s season came to a close Feb. 22 with a sixth-place finish at the 2014 State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) Swimming and Diving Championships.
The Hawks earned 275 points at the event held at Erie Community College’s Burt Flickinger Athletic Center in Buffalo, N.Y.
Head Coach Scott Whitbeck said his team’s result was the same ranking they had received last year.
“I was happy with how we swam in terms of the swimmers that we brought,” Whitbeck said. “Compared to the conference, we have some work to do to build up and move up in the standings for next year.”
Whitbeck said swimming “is a collection of individual races,” and considering each Hawks’ performance at SUNYACs, he believed the team, who finished with an overall record of 2-6, swam well and showed improvement from the start of the season.
The team’s biggest win deficit was against SUNY Cortland on Jan. 17 with a margin of victory of 43 points.
Third-year distance free swimmer Jack Spader was named to the 2014 All-State SUNYAC Second Team as a result of a second-place finish in the 1,650 freestyle and a third-place result in the 500 freestyle at the 2014 SUNYAC Swimming & Diving Championships, as announced by the conference office.
“I have to say that individually, I couldn’t have asked for a better season,” Spader said. “Each year I surprise myself and swim faster than I would have thought possible two years ago.”
Second-year backstroke swimmer James Fryer described the 2013-14 season as a “development season.”
“Even though we were confident we could accomplish a lot this year, we knew it would not be easy especially with the big losses in the program we had suffered in the near past,” Fryer said. “New teammates, coachesand a new plan for working out this season all made it seem a little shaky at first but it all came together in the end.”
With the recent close of the season, the team is already preparing for next year.
Spader said the team did a wonderful job of pushing through one of their hardest training seasons he has experienced in his college career, and hopes to continue it next season.
“Next year our team will be even bigger and a little older,” Spader said. “We hope to get some talented freshmen next year.”
The Hawks have three graduating fourth-years in sprint free swimmer Austin Collins, free swimmer Matt Distler and backstroke swimmer Brendan Meyer who all attended the SUNYAC Swimming and Diving Championships.
Whitbeck believes the future is bright, and said with a majority of the team being first-year and second-years, the team will only develope and get faster.
Fryer said the team already has goals set for next season and knows how to prepare to accomplish those goals in their off-season regimen.
“That’s just the kind of team I think we are,” Fryer said. “No matter what time of the year, in or out of season, at school or on summer break, we will be working toward a goal to come back stronger than ever, and I think we will.”