Men’s swimming keeps MET streak alive

Gajdzisz helps the men’s team win its eighth consecutive Metropolitan title with 1,455 points, outscoring second place by nearly 300 points. (Photo courtesy of the Sports Information Desk)
Gajdzisz helps the men’s team win its eighth consecutive Metropolitan title with 1,455 points, outscoring second place by nearly 300 points. (Photo courtesy of the Sports Information Desk)

This past weekend, the College’s swim teams competed in the Metropolitan Championships and showcased the best of this year’s Lions’ squads. Both the men’s and women’s teams had strong races and took home countless victories, as the men’s team won its eighth consecutive MET title and the women finished third.

The competition began on Friday, Feb. 14, as the Lions struck fiercely. The men’s team opened it up with great races by seniors William Kasper, Stephen Gibson and Philip Hawley and junior Brett Pedersen in the 200-freestyle event, racking up a total of 56 points between them. The College started out strong and was to remain so throughout the rest of the weekend’s competition.

Next, the freshmen showed what they were made of in the 500-free event as freshmen Scott Vitabile, Ryan Gajdzisz and Jason Ivins swam spectacularly and earned the College 103 more points. Senior Stephen Tarnowski also contributed significantly to this points boost.

In the 50-free event, the Lions really came alive. Six out of the top 10 times were posted by the College. Sophomore Joseph Dunn led the Lions with their fastest time, followed by Gibson, Pedersen, Kasper and junior Brian Perez.

Dunn, Pederson, junior Aleksander Burzynski and sophomore James Shangle participated in the 400-medley relay and obtained their best time of the 2014 season.

On the men’s second day of competition, they continued their dominance. In the 200-freestyle, the Lions took the top six spots with Tarnowski placing first with a time of 1:38.16. Other Lions placing in this event were Perez, Pedersen, Vitabile, Gajdzisz and freshman Andrew Nesbitt.

In the 100-butterfly, Dunn finished third and Gibson finished sixth, giving the Lions even more points.

Another strong outing came from Shangle, as he registered a time of 56 seconds in the 100-breastroke event. In the 800-free relay, Tarnowski, Perez, Vitabile and Gajdzisz grabbed the runner-up spot.

The women’s team also showed some strong performances during their two days at the competition.

The weekend started off with a stout finish in the 200-freestyle relay, as senior Nina Sabatini, freshman Brenna Strollo and junior Brennah Ross garnered 54 points for the Lions.

In the 500-free event, junior Summer Thomas swam her way to a fifth-place finish. Sabatini and sophomore Erin Perna also posted great times in this event. Sixth and seventh place were then snatched by Ross and Strollo in the 200-medley event.

The 400-medley relay was another strong event for the Lions. Senior Hailey Growney, senior Kelsey Sumple, junior Summer Thomas and Ross combined their efforts to reach a time of 4:04.85.

In the second day of competition, the Lions came out strong yet again. Starting out with the 800-freestyle relay, Sabatini, Perna, Strollo and Thomas combined for a time placing them in the event’s runner-up spot.

Next, senior Amy Schurer, Strollo, Sabatini and sophomore Lauren Rothstein posted a time of 1:52.69 in the 200-medley relay. Schurer then earned the team 25 points in the 400-individual event, placing sixth.

In the 100-butterfly, Ross swam her way to the sixth position, while Schurer and sophomore Sarah Richards placed 18th and 21st, adding more and more points to the Lions’ score.

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