Swimmers blow past the Pioneers

The swimmers line up and prepare to start the race. (Tim Lee).
The swimmers line up and prepare to start the race. (Tim Lee).

Last weekend both the men and women’s swimming and diving teams proved why they both hold the No. 1 spot in the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC).

Both teams picked up wins over New York University (NYU) and William Paterson University over the weekend, pushing both teams to 8-1 records.

“We have been training at an incredibly intense level and the guys have really had to put their hearts and souls into everything we do,” men’s head coach Brian Bishop said.

This was the women’s team’s first win over NYU in the past four years

“We went in with confidence and it showed in our races,” senior captain Christina Falcone said.

The women won the meet 161-137.

Winning three individual events and swimming in the 400-yard freestyle relay, junior Margaret Molloy helped lead her team to victory. Freshman Kayleigh Shangle also won four total events on two individual events and two relays.

The women went on to beat William Paterson University 203-78 on Sunday Jan. 24. The Lions placed first in every event. With help from freshman Kristyn Wikoff, who won both the 1000-yard freestyle and the 200-yard individual medley, the ladies ended the weekend with an 8-1 record. As for the diving, junior Amanda Obst placed first in both the one-meter and three-meter events.

“I’d attribute our team’s success to the hard work each one of us put in day after day,” Falcone said. “It also helps that our team has great chemistry with each other. Each one of the girls brings something different to the table that makes our team cohesive and unique.”

The men’s team did more damage against NYU, winning 179-101. Right away they set the tone, winning the first five individual races.

Senior James VanBiervliet won a pair of individual backstroke events and swam the back in the medley relay winner. Junior Tom Medvecky placed first in the 200-yard butterfly, 1000-yard freestyle and 100-yard butterfly. Senior Myles O’Connor won two breaststroke races and was part of a winning medley relay. Sophomore Mike Vernoia also placed first in the 200-freestyle and the 500-freestyle. He was also a crucial part of the 200-yard relay.

In the diving competition, sophomore TJ Burns placed second in both the three-meter event and one-meter event.

Against William Paterson University, junior Joe Tseng, who won both the 100- and 200-backstroke races, was one of the key players. The Lions won 157.5 -116.5.

“We are going to continue working hard with sights set on winning the NJAC Conference Championship, the METRO Championship and finishing in the top 10 at the NCAA Championships,” Bishop said.

Both teams will face Rowan University at home next Saturday at 2 p.m. in the regular season finale.