Pirates off to record setting start in pool
The men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams competed in their first multiple team meet on Saturday at Loyola University. The women went 3-0 at the meet while the men went 2-1.
The women’s team swept the three other competing schools Lafayette 194-106, Drexel 190-108 and Loyola 170-130. This sweep marks the first time in school history that the women’s team started 4-0.
Freshman Kerrie Kolackovsky made history by breaking the school record in the 100 yard breaststroke while placing first. She also swam to a first place finish in the 200 yard breaststroke and the 500 yard freestyle.
Head coach Ron Farina said that freshman Jane Ehret “sealed the deal” with her first place victories in the 100 yard butterfly and the 200 yard individual medley. Ehret also earned first place in the 200 yard butterfly.
Farina also mentioned Andrea Shuba as a clutch swimmer with her victory in the 200 yard backstroke.
“The other teams had good girls, but the depth of the women’s team prevailed,” Farina said. “The confidence is as high as it has been in four or five years.”
The men’s team defeated two of the three teams competing at the meet by defeating Lafayette, and Drexel, 198-93 and 174-122 respectively. The Pirates fell to two-time defending MAAC champions Loyola by a score of 186-113.
Senior Kevin Webster earned personal bests and finished first in the 500 and 200 yard freestyles, which was good enough to earn the honor of Big East male swimmer of the week.
Webster and sophomore teammate Ryan O’Shaughnessy earned a one-two victory in the 200 yard individual medley. O’Shaughnessy also finished first in the 200 yard breaststroke.
Farina said that he was “proud” of how the entire team swam this Saturday. He said despite the big crowd that the team was “relaxed with nervous energy.”
The depth of Loyola is what Farina said pushed the greyhounds over the pirates. But he notes the men’s effort against them. “The way the men went after Loyola made me proud,” Farina said.
Although both squads are confident, Farina knows the focus of both teams must remain as intense as it has been in order to cintinue the success they have been having in the pool.
“I’m glad to see the continued confidence from the women, but I know my job is to keep them focused and keep my foot on the gas,” Farina said.
Farina’s expectations for the season are bright. He is hoping that a couple of his swimmers will become BIG EAST champions and NCAA qualifiers.
The men’s and women’s team next compete at home against the Providence Friars on Saturday.
Thomas Brennan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org