The Seton Hall swimming program honored its seniors over the weekend during the final home meet, against Connecticut.
Matt Benson, Greg Black, Ian DeLisio, Evan Forbes, Joey Lacus, Tyler Naumann and Jon Ropson were recognized from the men’s team, and Kate Dwyer, Kerrie Kolackovsky, Kelly Markwell and Katie Riley received honors from the women’s team.
Coach Ron Farina said he was proud of his accomplished group of upperclassmen.
“This was a great season for the seniors,” Farina said. “The class of 2013-14 was one of the largest recruiting classes we’ve ever had. On both the men’s and women’s side, the seniors were the backbone of the team. They all worked so hard and served as great role models for the younger swimmers.”
The Pirates did not get the win, however, despite some strong performances. The men totaled six runner-up finishes on Sunday against UConn. Kolackovsky swept every individual event that she participated in and teamed up with Megan Mallon and Melody Bush to place second in the 200-yard medley.
Kolackovsky was awarded her second Big East Women’s Swimming and Diving Athlete of the Week award. In her last two meets, the senior recorded six individual wins.
“Kerrie leads by example,” Farina said. “She has tremendous work ethic, and she’s extremely versatile… That’s a testament to how hard she’s work the entire year.”
Junior Ben Mitchell had an impressive performance finishing on top of a six-diver pool from the one-meter board.
Similarly, Cece Henry (third place, 200-IM), Tessa Lindner (second place, 200-butterfly), Maddie Harris (fifth place, 100- yard freestyle), Gabi Levine (third place, 50-yard freestyle), Isabelle Alario (fifth place, 50-yard free-style) reinforced the notion that the program is in good hands for next year.
The women’s team entered Sunday’s meet off a four-game stretch of fourth-place finishes, while the men’s team came in with three fifth-place finishes and two losses over their last five meets.
With all of that behind them, the Pirates have just one more meet before the 2014 Big East Championship.
“We’re just gearing up for the Big East Championship,” Farina said. “Even though it’s three weeks away, I’ve been preaching to everyone about the history of our program, and how we have a shot to do something really special here.”
Farina talked about why his, and the team’s, expectations are so high.
“For our seniors-thanks to some conference rule changes- this is a great shot to get some second swims,” he said. “And that’s something that other swimmers before them, who have probably been just as skilled, haven’t really had the chance to experience. There’s a great amount of collective appreciation for that opportunity, starting at the top with our upperclassmen.”
Both the men’s and women’s teams will wrap up the regular season with an all-day meet Saturday, Feb. 1 at the Navy Invitational in Annapolis, Md.
The Pirates have several competitions left on the schedule and will travel to Villanova, the Gloucester Institute of Technology and Virginia Tech.
Tommy Duffy can be reached at email@example.com.