Dominant senior swimmers and divers excel

Miguel Gonzalez
Sports Editor

The men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams capped off their regular season schedule, both hoeing down the William Paterson Pioneers at home on Saturday, Feb. 4.

At the last home meet of season, the men’s senior swimmers and divers displayed their dominance. The Lions eventually crushed the Pioneers, 148-83.

Nesbitt helps the Lions win the 400-freestyle relay. (Courtesy of Sports Information Desk)

Senior Sean Johnson cruised to first place in the 1000-meter freestyle event and recorded a time of 10:59.49. Meanwhile, senior Scott Vitabile snagged first in the 100-backstroke and touched the line with a time of 53.93. Not to be outdone by his fellow seniors, senior Ryan Gajdzisz won the 100-breast and 50-free events.

“Gajdzisz and Vitabile are both NCAA champions and multiple all-Americans and set the bar really high for everyone else,” said men’s swimming and diving head coach Brian Bishop. “Nesbitt and Masciandaro are having the best seasons of their career and Johnson brings a lot of experience as a transfer from Ohio State.”

At the diving board, senior David Adlai-Gail was allergic to second place. He placed first in the 1- and 3-meter boards, scoring a combined 454.43 points. The seniors were not finished with their demolition until the 400-free relay. The team of senior Andrew Nesbitt, Vitabile and sophomore Alex Skoog raced to the top, recording a time of 3:14.75. At the 200-medley relay, the underclassmen team of junior Ryan Hackett and the freshmen trio of Zach Volm, Derek Kneisel and Elias O’Connor claimed first place.  

The women’s team also had a similar experience of washing out the Pioneers with a final score of 175-98. Seniors Sarah Grassi and Brenna Strollo displayed one last great performance at Packer Hall. Grassi graced the diving board and won the both the 1-meter and 3-meter events. At the same time, Strollo led the school of swimmers in the 200-medley and 400 freestyle relays. Although the seniors were meant to shine in their last meet, the juniors also added a grand splash of their own.

Starting with junior Marta Lawler, she captured first in the 100-breaststroke and 200-freestyle. In the midst, junior Jill Galindo finished first at the 100-back and junior Cassidy Bergeron won the 100-free. Junior Ali Huber also conquered a pair of events, winning the 100-butterfly and 1000-freestyle.

The only underclassman to win events were sophomore Hailey Thayer at the 200-back and freshman Kaiza Moore at the 50-free. Both the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams are scheduled to compete in the Metropolitan Conference Championship at Rutgers University on Friday, Feb. 17. The teams are looking to claim first place after finishing in second last year.

“Our focus is on using METS as tool to qualify for NCAA’s,” said Bishop. “If we win METS that’s an added bonus. We would certainly like a little redemption after last year though.”