Both swim teams win, take NJAC titles

After winning their conference championship the previous day, the College’s swimming and diving teams stepped up and topped the highly-ranked Stevens Institute of Technology teams.

Both teams trounced Rowan to win the NJAC title. The teams have been dominant. (Lisa Nitzsche / Staff Photographer)

The men’s team (ranked seventh) upset the Stevens Institute of Technology (ranked sixth) 154-108. They swam tough in the team events, taking first in the 200-yard medley relay and the 400-yard freestyle relay, and had a number of strong individual performances.

Senior Jesse Taylor took first in the 200-yard freestyle while junior Brian Giacopelli finished second — only three-tenths of a second behind. Taylor also took second in the 100-yard freestyle. Aleks Burzynski continued his stellar freshman year, winning the 100-yard backstroke with a final time of 52.87, and the 200-yard backstroke. Adam Schneider, junior, also notched two first-place finishes, taking the 50-yard freestyle and the 100-yard butterfly events, with times of 21.57 and 52.74 respectively.

The men’s team took on the Rowan University Profs before their trouncing of Stevens. The team won the matchup by a score of 169-103, a dominant showing.

Senior Ryan Clark took two individual events, winning the 100-free and 200-free. The team as a whole took 13 of 16 events.

The women’s swimming and diving team (ranked 11th) edged Stevens with a final score of 133-129. The match came down to the final event, and with the strong team performance in the 400-yard freestyle relay, senior Laura Pierce, senior Melissa Hessler, junior Kayleigh Shangle and junior Caroline Kelly touched the wall half of a second before the 10th ranked Ducks.

Pierce continued her hot streak, taking first in the 50-yard freestyle and the 100-yard butterfly, and Hessler won the 100-yard freestyle with a final time of 10:52.64. Shangle took first in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:06.77, and the 200-yard breaststroke. Freshman Brennah Ross won the 200-yard butterfly with a 2:11.12 final time.

The team preceded the win against Stevens with an NJAC-clinching win against Rowan University.  The 194-97 win marked the 16th straight time that the women’s team has won the conference.

Seniors Melissa Hessler and Laura Pierce took two events apiece, guiding the Lions to the title. Hessler took the distance events, winning the 1,000-freestyle and the 500-free, while Pierce took the 50-free and 100-butterfly.

The Lions won’t return to the pool until Feb. 17-19 when they compete at Rutgers University in the Metropolitan Championship, an event that they’ve won the past five times.

(Lisa Nitzsche / Staff Photographer)