Both swimming teams plunged into the 2016-17 season as they participated in the Union Relays on Saturday, Oct. 22.
Both the men’s and women’s team each placed second out of a trio of teams, facing host Union College and Bard College. On both sides, multiple Hawks swimmers who raced, took part in at least five events, an unusual occurrence for a meet.
“The point of the meet was to have fun and do a whole bunch of racing, and that’s what we did,” Hawks first-year head coach Tom Eickelberg said. “It wasn’t about the score, and it certainly wasn’t about analyzing performances against other teams’ lineup. It was just about going there, and any time there was an opportunity to race, we were getting in there and chasing it.”
On the men’s side, the Hawks won five relay events. The 200 medley event marked the debut of the foursome of first-year Cooper Knapp, third-year Colin Duell and third-year co-captain Caleb Treadwell along with fourth-year transfer Jeff Pietkiewicz, who took home the top time of 1:41.20, nearly a full five seconds behind the runner-ups of Union College.
Additionally, the “A” team pair of Duell and Knapp tallied a top time in the 2×100 yard medley relay (1:44.90). Knapp, who swam in seven events, would also place first with Treadwell in the 2×50 yard butterfly relay. The first-year would place first in a total of four events on the day. Treadwell further topped the men’s 50 yard butterfly relay by .12 of a second with a time of 25.03.
For the women, the Hawks placed first in four relay events. In the 2×100 yard medley relay, the “B” team of second-years Katie Donlevy and Kaleigh O’Halloran recorded a first-place time of 1:58.53. Right behind them fell the “A” team duo of second-year Jaimie Kaefer and first-year Chelsea Angulas (1:59.71). Donlevy topped the rest of the competition in the women’s 50 yard breaststroke with a time of 33.43. Along with fourth-year co-captain Ann Fici, Donlevy also placed first in the 2×50 yard breaststroke relay 1:09.62.
As he kicked off his first year as head coach of the Hawks, Eickelberg said the experience thus far has been “unbelievable.”
“This team is so close-knit, and the way that they operate in welcoming new people is just really eye-opening,” Eickelberg said. “Having been part of many different college athletics programs through the years, it’s really been staggering just to see how excited these people were to swim, how excited they are for the new faces that they see, myself included, and how willing they were to welcome new people in as intimate members of this family.”
The Hawks will travel to Mahwah, New Jersey to take on Ramapo College for their first dual meet of the season on Saturday, Oct. 29 at 1 p.m. Last season, the women breezed by the RoadRunners 150-107, and the men dropped their 152.5-109.5 matchup.
“This coming meet is pretty special,” Hawks fourth-year co-captain Luke Zenir said. “Now we’re in a position where we can really compete and have very close races with Ramapo, whereas in the past, sometimes we get beat pretty hard. I think this year’s going to be a special opportunity for us to show them what we got and scare them a little bit.”