Mixed results greet swimmers in new year; Women best C.W. Post, men lose to Johns Hopkins

Women’s swimming and diving team pull ahead of competition in the pool. (Photo courtesy of Tim Lee)

Winter break for most college students is a time to relax and enjoy the time off from school. For athletes, however, it may be a time for rigorous workouts and a hard training schedule in order to prepare themselves for the next part of the season that begins right before the spring semester starts.

For the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams, winter break had a different impact. The women’s team swam a tough race against C.W. Post of Long Island University, defeating the Pioneers 185-77. The win was significant for the Lions (5-0) as the Pioneers were the only team to hand the women’s team a loss last season.

“It was a great way to start the second half of the season,” women’s head coach Jennifer Harnett said. “We were very driven for this meet because it was our only loss last year.”

Sophomore diver Danica Raskos blew away the competition, breaking two program records in her first meet as a Lion. Raskos earned the top score in the one-meter diving event (319.88) and another in the three-meter (323.25), which added to the team’s overall victory.

Senior Margaret Molloy won a pair of races in the water, with teammates doing the same right alongside of her. Molloy placed first in the 1,000-yard freestyle event, finishing in 10:52.81.

The senior then earned her second win of the meet with a top spot in the 100-free, completing it in 53.49 seconds.

Junior Laura Pierce won two events, including the 50-free (24.27) and the 100-butterfly (58.13). Sophomore Kayleigh Shangle took first in the 100-breaststroke (1:07.18) and the 200-breast (2:27.94). Freshman Ashley Conroy came in first in both the 100-yard and 200-yard backstrokes, finishing the races in 1:00.95 and 2:14.92.

Shangle, Pierce, Conroy and junior Traci Hofer also won the 200-medley and the 200-free relays as a team, snagging the top spot in both events with times of 1:51.17 and 1:39.18.

Junior Melissa Hessler and sophomore Jenny Zavoda also contributed to the team’s overall win with individual first place honors in their events. Hessler finished the 200-butterfly in 2:13.31, and Zavoda won the 200-freestyle with a time of 1:59.82.

On the other hand, the men’s team (4-2) took on Johns Hopkins University and Westchester University on Friday, Jan. 14 and lost the double meet with scores of 225-106 against the Blue Jays and 179-152 against the Golden Rams.

Johns Hopkins University is ranked sixth in the division and Westchester University is a Division II school, while the Lions are currently ranked 12th.

“We just came off the hardest swimming cycle of the year, so I knew we would be swimming very tired, and we were not really expecting to swim very fast,” men’s head coach Brian Bishop said.

Senior Tom Medvecky took the win in the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 1:57.41. The only other first place finish went to senior Tim Rauch in the 1,650-free with a time of 16:48.50.

The rest of the team worked hard to achieve second and third place finishes, such as in the 400-yard medley, where Medvecky joined senior Joe Tseng, senior Shawn Kircher and freshman Michael Oliva for a time of 3:39.72.

According, to Medvecky, there is time for the team to improve.

“There are not many things we can contribute to a loss,” Medvecky said. “We were not the best team in the pool that day. We did not perform and that is all there is to it. The only way to improve is to refocus and pin point what we did wrong. We have already done that and in a few weeks we will come out swinging against the next four teams and hopefully we will be the best team in the pool.”

The Lions take on New York University at home this upcoming weekend for a possible rebound from the past two losses. The Bobcats will meet the Lions at the College on Saturday, Jan. 22 at 2 p.m.

Hilarey Wojtowicz can be reached at wojtowi3@tcnj.edu.