Cougars Make Waves In Conference Meet

Arthur Dowell, Web Editor

Women’s Swimming

The school record board at the pool in the Anderson Sports and Health Center is getting a makeover after the women’s swim team broke seven school records at the MAC Championships.

The excitement was there early.

“I think we were all excited and ready to race,” said junior Dana Hallam. “Everyone seemed to be in the right mind set. We were ready to race.”

In the first day of competition, sophomore Dani Blass and seniors Megan DiPalo, Bree Grzech and Brittany Luzik set a school record and finished second in the 200 medley relay at 1:49.13.

That same day, the 800 free medley team consisting of sophomores Blass, Kerri Ciriello, Hallam and senior Beth Karmondy came in at 8:07.37. That was good for another school record and fifth in the championships.

The women did not stop, breaking the school record in the 400 medley relay on the second day. Junior Amanda Stammherr and Luzik joined both Blass and Grzech with success early in the MAC Championships record.

Individually, Blass broke her own school record while winning the in the 200 breaststroke. Team- mates Stammherr and Karmondy finished behind her in the top five in second and fourth.

The girls had a premonition about their star performances. They spoke highly of their training and knew the adrenaline would carry them to new records.

“I think we did what we needed to do, and we’re very proud of  what we accomplished. We knew that the practices and training were good enough for how we ended up doing, but we never realized that we would finish just 46 points behind first place,” said Hallam.

A first place finish is worth 40 points to the school.

Grzech went onto breaking her own schools record in the 200 backstroke, good enough to finish third in MAC competition.

Karmondy broke her school record in the 400 Individual Medley and finished fourth in competition with a timing of 4:50.87.

Likewise, Luzik beat her record in the 100 fly with a timing of 57.89, a timing good enough to get her third place.

Stammherr won MAC’s in the 100 breaststroke with teammates Blass and Allison Thomas finishing second and fourth.

Though not everyone walked away a record-holder, swimmers were proud of their accomplish- ments.

“I am proud that I achieved best times in every race I swam,” said Hallam. “On a team level, I am amazed at how well we did overall. Being short six girls of a full roster, we managed to get second.”

The girls ended up finishing second place behind Widener University with 519 total points.

Men’s Swimming

The men’s swim team finished day one of the MAC Champion- ships in second place and that’s where they stayed to the end.

With 474 team points, the team left York, Pa. second out of 11 schools.

Emotions were running high as the team entered the MAC Championships, said sophomore Pat O’ Dell.

The team got right into it, break- ing a school record when first year Thomas Scott, sophomore Chris Gleason, junior Peter Kolokithias, and senior Matt Essington broke the record in 800 freestyle relay at 7:04.94 and finished third in the championships.

That same day, the 200 medley relay team, consisting of Scott, sophomores O’ Dell and Matt Cullen, and junior Brad Thomas, finished fourth with a time of 1:37.07.

“Setting our goals high allowed for our team to break school records and attain personal records,” said O’ Dell.

Scott had quite the weekend. On top of being part of the record- breaking 800 freestyle relay, he went on to win two MAC titles

in the 200 individual medley at 1:56.49 and 200 breaststroke with the time of 2:07.82. He also finished third in the 100 breast- stroke.

The team knew going in that they were up against some tough competition, with only twelve members participating in MAC’s compared to the usual sixteen, but they left feeling great about their performance.

“The fact that we ended up still in second despite the incredibly fast and competitive meet really speaks to how we trained all season and performed when it came down to the nitty-gritty. We did what we had to do to come up only behind Albright [college],” said Kolokithias.

Team preparation for MAC’s is much different from the work swimmers do to prepare for a typical meet. Practices are run more slowly to allow the swimmers to rest a little more, and they have more time to prep for MAC’s than they do for a weekend meet.

“We start preparing for MAC’s about four weeks out. We as a team get championship suits, which are much different from our regular season suits. We also make sure we are clean shaved and taper enough during practices so we are rested going into the champion- ships,” said O’Dell.

The men’s team went on to enjoy many top three performances.

Gleason finished second in the 400 individual medley. O’Dell finished third in the 200 backstroke. In relays, sophomores Nick Es- sington and Gleason, and juniors Kolokithias, and Thomas finished third in the 200 free.

O’Dell, Scott, Thomas, and Kolokithias finished third in the 400 medley on the second day of competition.

[email protected]