The men’s swimming team earned a decisive 121-83 road victory on Saturday afternoon over their SUNYAC rivals, the Oneonta Red Dragons.
The New Paltz men came into the meet off of an 83-57 home win two weeks prior on Jan. 11 against the Western Connecticut State Colonials. Conversely, Oneonta’s previous outing ended in a 160-136 loss to the Brockport Golden Eagles on Jan. 18.
The day began with New Paltz coming out on top of the 400-yard medley relay, with first-year Zac Brown, first-year Owen Rowlands, fourth-year Matt Pero and first-year Alex Palmero Baluev powering their way to a 3:54.90, narrowly defeating the second place Oneonta relay group by 0.84 seconds.
Second-year Ethan Bonney followed up the team’s initial victory with a win in the 1000-yard freestyle with a time of 10:24.30. He would also win the 500-yard freestyle later in the meet, putting up a time of 5:09.14.
“I was excited coming into this meet knowing that it was going to be close and any points I would potentially score would be more impactful than usual,” Bonney said. “The two week break was a nice refresher.”
“In the upcoming Geneseo meet, I want to swim the 200-yard butterfly as I haven’t in a few years and I’d like to compete against some of my teammates,” Bonney continued.
Rowlands earned a vital set of points in the 400 yard individual medley, taking another first place spot for the Hawks with a time of 4:38.38. Second-year Luke Gamboli narrowly missed out on second place in the 200-yard butterfly by 0.12 seconds in one of the closest margins of the meet, but finished a commendable third place with a time of 2:07.73.
The Hawks dominated in the following event, the 100-yard freestyle. Second-year and one of three team captains Jared Finn, third-year Nolan West and other fourth-year team captain T.J. Stetcher took a 1-2-3 finish for the Hawks with times of 49.89, 51.18 and 52.07, respectively.
Brown secured another first place spot for the Hawks in the 200-yard backstroke. It was only his second time racing the event at the NCAA level. Rowlands shone yet again in the 200-yard breaststroke event, winning with a time of 2:26.42. The men’s team closed out the meet with a first place spot in the 400-yard freestyle relay, as second-year Mitch Chappell, Palmero Baluev, Stetcher and Finn swam to a 3:32.41 finish. Finn also managed to earn the fastest split time of all swimmers in the relay, with a 48.66 completion time.
The win put the Hawks at 3-4 for the season and dropped the Red Dragons to 1-5. This is the sixth time in a row New Paltz has defeated Oneonta, and improves the Hawks’ all-time record against the Red Dragons to 12-2.
“I know my teammates will get behind others as they always do for my events,” Bonney said.
The team’s regular season concludes on the road on Feb. 1 as the team will take on the Geneseo Knights in Buffalo for the Geneseo Invitational at 1 p.m. before diving into the SUNYAC Championships on Feb. 18.