High expectations met at Montclair meet

After tasting success in the NCAA National Championships as well as the Metropolitan Conference Championship last season, the swimming and diving teams are looking to continue their winning ways heading into the 2007-2008 season.

The first test was at Montclair State University on Friday, Oct. 19.

The men’s team defeated the Red Hawks in a 166-110 victory, taking 12 of 15 events.

The team was led by senior Liam Gallagher’s three victories throughout the meet. Gallagher took first in the 100-meter backstroke (56.02) as well as the 200-meter breaststroke (2:22.22). He also assisted the 200-meter medley relay team in a first place victory (1:41:49) along with teammates sophomores Myles O’Connor and Herman Chu, and freshman Pete Goldsmith, who would win the 500-meter freestyle (5:16.08) as well.

Goldsmith said he “trained and kept in general shape in the summer to be ready for the hard training during the season.”

Senior Josh Forsman finished with two first place showings of his own, taking first in the 100-meter butterfly (54.78) and the 100-meter freestyle (50.00).

Like Goldsmith, Forsman has trained vigorously for this year’s season.

“Before the offseason started, I realized that this was my last season so … the majority of the summer was devoted to training in the pool,” Forsman said. “Also, since I was lucky enough to work at the beach, cross-training there will hopefully give me a little advantage for this season.”

Commenting on the team’s performance, head coach Brian Bishop said, “We did how we expected and have trained really hard but there are a few spots where we can work harder.”

The women also competed against Montclair State University Friday night. In similar fashion, they grounded the Red Hawks 156-124. They were led by senior Ava Kiss who swam to victory in three events. Kiss took first in the 50- and 500-meter freestyle events with times of 25.65 and 5:27.75, respectively. She also propelled the team to victory in the 200-meter medley relay swimming the third leg of the race.

Also taking part in the winning effort were senior Christine Marino and freshmen Margaret Molloy and Michele Wilson. Wilson added another victory in the 100-meter freestyle (57.48) while Molloy posted two wins with first place finishes in the 200-meter individual medley and 200-meter freestyle.

“It was a great first meet for us,” women’s head coach Jennifer Harnett said. “A lot of positive things came out of it.”

“I am really excited about this season,” she added. “We have a different focus at meets and we expect to finish better than last year. Our ultimate goal is to qualify as many people as possible for NCAA’s.”

Expectations for the College’s swimming and diving teams this year are high.

“This is my first year, but I have heard this is one of the better teams we have had,” Goldsmith said. “We have a very good recruiting class and many returning All-American swimmers.”

Adding to the thought, Forsman said, “My expectations are higher this year than any other year I’ve been on this team both for the team and myself. We have an outstanding freshman class and everyone else put in a ton of work this summer.”