Swenson, Gallagher lead in close victory over rival

The men’s swimming team is still perfect as it added to two wins at this weekend’s dual meets. A heavy-handed 142-99 victory over Franklin & Marshall College (F&M) on Friday and a nail-biting 121-120 victory over heated conference rival South Connecticut State University (SCSU) on Saturday to boosted the team’s record to 3-0.

The men had been defeated by the strong F&M team in their last two tries. Senior captain Scott Foglyano called the victory “absolutely amazing.”

“(Head coach Brian Bishop) told us before that we were not really expected to win and that they were better on paper and in raw talent, but we never counted ourselves out. We knew we could do it out of sheer emotion,” he said.

The men won six out of 13 events against SCSU, receiving a strong performance from senior captain Steve Swenson, who won the 200-yard breaststroke in 2:11.57 and was a member of the first place 400-yard medley relay team.

Sophomore Liam Gallagher also contributed with a major victory over senior Mike Ferraro and sophomore Denny Shupe, two of SCSU’s top swimmers, in the 200-yard Individual Medley (IM) with a time of 1:59.83.

“We beat SCSU once, we’ll do it again,” Swenson said. “Our squad is bigger, badder, and much more talented. We’re taking back conferences this year.” Swenson then went on to personally guarantee a victory over SCSU this year in conferences.

Bishop said he didn’t expect to win every event against F&M. But that’s exactly what the team got, as the men dominated, winning all 14 events and again getting strong performances from Gallagher and Swenson as they took first in their respective events.

Gallagher won the 200-yard freestyle in imposing fashion with a time of 1:48.64 and an almost full seven-second lead over the second place swimmer, F&M senior Pat Godfrey.

The girl’s team was less successful, as it lost both meets by scores of 153-109 and 126.5-104.5 to F&M and SCSU, respectively, in what senior captain Jen Lyon called “moral victories.”

Still, moral victories don’t show up in the standings, as the girls dropped to a 1-2 record as a result of the meets over the weekend. Despite the losing record, Lyon denied any claims that the team was struggling. “Our meet schedule is really competitive,” she said.

The girls received strong outings from both senior captain Erin Stutz and senior Beth Hurley. Stutz came in second in the women’s 200 yard IM on Friday and in first on Saturday, with times of 2:16.26 and 2:16.06 respectively. Hurley won the women’s 100-yard freestyle in 56.29. Stutz also won the 1,000-yard freestyle race on Friday with a time of 11:09.38.

Sophomore Ava Kiss also had a strong outing in both meets, as she won four events over the weekend. Most notably, Kiss dominated in the women’s 200-yard butterfly against SCSU, winning by almost six seconds with a time of 2:12.66.

Senior divers Lee Swanson and Greg Lloyd also both qualified for the NCAA Tournament in March in the men’s and women’s three-meter dive on Saturday. “I didn’t go into the meet thinking (of qualifying for the NCAA Tournament), but after I found out I was surprised. It was nice,” Lloyd said. “I’m just aiming to be able to put up my best come March.”

Both the men’s and the women’s teams will be swimming next at the Princeton “Big Al Memorial” Invitational on Friday, Nov. 11 at 5 p.m.