The men and women’s swimming teams finished off their regular seasons with wins at home against Maritime College on Saturday, Feb. 4.
The victories improved both team’s records to 3-0 in dual-meets.
Both the men and women’s swimming teams missed seven dual-meets this year due to a mumps outbreak around New Paltz, without being able to do so much as practice.
Hawks first-year head coach Tom Eickelberg said that while it was difficult to miss a majority of the season, the teams have stayed mentally strong and engaged.
“As soon as January hit, these teams came here with clear eyes and had their priorities straight,” said Eickelberg. “They know what it’s like to not be able to swim, so they are really chasing what’s important and focusing on the bigger picture.”
On the men’s side, the Hawks came away with a 105-92 victory over Maritime, as fourth-year swimmer Jeff Pietkiewicz set an Elting Pool record in the first leg of the 200 free relay, clocking a 21.36 split. This broke the pool’s previous record of 21.54.
New Paltz claimed first in the day’s first event, the 200 yard medley relay, with a time of 1:41.86 behind third-year Marc Piliero, fourth-year Matt Alfultis, second-year Joe Galante and third-year Kevin Sales.
The Hawks’ “A” team consisting of Pietkiewicz, first-year Cooper Knapp, third-year co-captain Caleb Treadwell and fourth-year Vitaut Gurskiy shattered an Elting Pool record in the 200 yard medley relay (1:14.20), but were disqualified on a minor technicality.
First-year Matt Kessler was a double event winner against Maritime, claiming first in the men’s 50 yard freestyle, clocking a time of 22.83, as well as registering a 57.35 time in the 100 yard backstroke.
Hawks fourth-year Nolan Graziano clocked in at 57.60 in the 100 yard butterfly, obtaining the fastest time.
Kessler said that he is impressed with how the Hawks have competed and overcome adversity to get where they are now and the squad hopes to carry that mentality into the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) Championships.
“We competed at a level that proves how hard we have worked, and we had the energy and passion that you need going into championships,” Kessler said. “We’ve trained as hard as we possibly could and now we’re ready to see it all culminate.”
On the women’s side, the Hawks defeated Maritime College by a 92-80 mark in their meet.
The women’s “A” team clocked a time of 1:50.30 in the 200 yard medley relay on the strength of first-year Chelsea Angulas, third-year Megan Joseph, second-year Jaimie Kaefer and second-year Nicole Lee, breaking a previous Elting Pool record of 1:50.89 set in 2011.
In the third event of the day, fourth-year Ann Fici touched at 2:04.08 in the 200 yard freestyle, with fourth-year co-captain Aimee Del Favero right behind, clocking a time of 2:06.00.
In the 50 yard freestyle, fourth-year Kyrstin Gallagher touched first with a time of 27.61, with Fici and fourth-year Lauren Marsiello right behind with times of 27.70 and 28.17, respectively.
Del Favero says that both the men’s and women’s teams have unfinished business after placing second in the SUNYAC Championships last year.
“I think everyone feels ready to go and are excited to show the conference not to underestimate us just because we’ve hit a couple of bumps in the road,” Del Favero said. “The past few meets have been really positive for us because we’ve all had some pretty fast swims and we’ve remembered how strong we are as a team.”
The SUNYAC Championships will take place at Erie Community College in Buffalo from Thursday, Feb. 16 through Saturday, Feb. 18.