In one of the most competitive meets of their seasons, both the men’s and women’s swim teams were defeated by Southern Connecticut State University on Saturday 133-85 and 126-110, respectively.
The men showed victories in three events. One was in the 400-free relay, which consisted of senior captains Nick Steffanci and Chris Levin, junior Jeff Glenn and sophomore Kyle King.
King also took first in the 100 free with a time of 48:13. Junior Steve Swenson also took first in the 200 breast with a time of 2:10.77.
However, Levin felt the defeat was not disheartening to either team because it gave them a chance to strengthen their performance against heavy competition as they swam against a highly ranked Division II team.
“Although SCSU is in our conference, over the past few years they’ve become more of a competition for us,” Levin said. “They’ve got a strong program, but then again, so do we.”
The women’s team had a better showing against the Division II team, falling only 16 points. They took first place in the 400-free relay, which consisted of junior Beth Hurley, sophomore Catherine Benigno and freshmen Ava Kiss and Kristin Udicious. Their winning time was 3:48.92.
Junior Karen Bocian took first in the 200 breast with a time of 2:36.50 and newcomer Christine Marino also took first in the 200 back with a time of 2:17:07.
“SCSU is an extremely competitive team,” senior captain Lauren Smith said. “Competing against them only makes us stronger, and with less than a 20 point loss, I feel we made a good showing.”
Underclassmen have also been vital to the success of both teams. “The underclassmen are fitting in well in helping our team to stay positive and strong throughout this season,” Smith said of the women’s team.
Kiss has been showing tremendous pull for the Lions.
“Ava Kiss is currently our top freshman,” head coach Jen Harnett said. “She shows a lot of promise in the future.”
Both teams have been training on rigorous schedules and are continuing to strengthen themselves on a whole for the rest of the season.
“The NCAA cutoff is in two weeks, and we started later than we expected,” Harnett said. “But the girls are training really hard, and came back this season in shape and ready to go.”
Both the men and women will be swimming again on Nov. 20 in a dual meet against Division II Bloomsburg University.