Men’s swim and dive finishes seventh at Patriot League Championships, brings home ten school records

Freshmen+Antonio+Arena+and+Andrew+Campbell%2C+senior+Justin+Lloyd+and+junior+Aaron+Tupper+%28pictured+left+to+right%29+set+a+school+record+in+the+800-yard+relay+at+the+Patriot+League+Championships+last+week.+%28Photo+courtesy+of+Lindsey+Monaco+23%29

Freshmen Antonio Arena and Andrew Campbell, senior Justin Lloyd and junior Aaron Tupper (pictured left to right) set a school record in the 800-yard relay at the Patriot League Championships last week. (Photo courtesy of Lindsey Monaco ’23)

Issy Bongiovanni, Staff writer

After months of training and preparation, the men’s swimming and diving team dove into action in Annapolis, Md. to participate in the four-day-long Patriot League Championships from Feb. 16 to Feb. 19.

“We did a lot of endurance training. We had our training trip, which helped to bring the team together and improve our strength gains,” senior Michael Gorgan said. “Right before the meet, we had a one and a half week taper where we eased off the training and gave ourselves enough time to rest and recover.”

The maroon and white kick-started day one of the meet by breaking the school record for the 200-yard medley relay with a final time of 1:30.24. Gorgan, freshman Avery Letourneau and sophomores James Lapsley and Ben Arky finished sixth place in this medley event. 

Junior Aaron Tupper, senior Justin Lloyd and freshmen Antonio Arena and Andrew Campbell also secured a sixth-place finish in their 800-yard relay with a finishing time of 6:42.71, setting another school record. Lloyd had a split time of 1:39.69, making him the first swimmer in Lafayette history to break 1:40 in the 200-yard free. 

Lafayette closed out day one with the men’s team in seventh place with 52 total points.

“We all swim really fast. We had a ton of personal bests and a ton of school records, so I think everyone’s sweating really well,” Gorgan said. 

In day two preliminaries, freshman Peter Kawash broke a school record with a final time of 1:49.60 and finished 16th overall in the 200-yard IM. Kawash finished with an even faster time of 1:49.34 in the 200-yard IM during day two finals, breaking the school record he set himself earlier that day and scoring 13th place overall in the event. 

Gorgan, Letourneau, Lapsley and Tupper worked to finish fifth overall in the 400-yard medley. Their time of 3:15.87 topped the school record which the foursome had set earlier in the season by three seconds. Lapsley also swam a personal best with a split time of 50.00 seconds in the event. 

At the end of day two, the men remained in their seventh-place spot with 84 points.

Gorgan had a strong performance during day three preliminaries and finals, winning the 100-yard breaststroke during the morning session. His time of 53.50 is an NCAA Division B Qualifying Standard for Gorgan. He came back to have another tremendous performance that night as he finished fifth overall (53.88). 

Campbell, Letourneau and Kawash then went on to break more Lafayette records in their respective events. Campbell finished 15th in the 400-yard IM (3:57.10), Letourneau finished 12th in the 100-yard butterfly (49.34) and Kawash finished tenth in the 100-yard backstroke (49.14). Tupper and Lapsley followed Kawash in his event, finishing 12th and 14th (50.35 and 50.77).

Tupper, Gorgan, Arky and Arena set another school record in the 200-yard freestyle relay as the foursome finished sixth overall with a final time of 1:22.57.

Gorgan had yet another robust performance in the day four preliminaries, finishing sixth overall in the 200-yard breaststroke (1:59.01). Gorgan continued to be a generous contributor to the team’s success in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:59.41 during finals. 

“Michael Gorgan got first in prelims so he got to pick the song when we got to walk out, which was a really big deal for our team,” junior Lindsey Monaco from the women’s team said. “We go against such fast teams in our conference, so it was really cool that he was seated first. That was really memorable for everyone, he kind of killed it.”

Campbell then finished fourteenth overall in the 200-yard butterfly (1:50.78), and Tupper finished fourteenth overall in the 100-yard freestyle (45.36). 

To close out the finals, the men’s 400-yard freestyle relay set a school record in 3:02.31. Arky, Lloyd, Gorgan and Tupper finished fifth overall in the event. 

“This is the sport we chose because we love it, not because we want to be stressed out by it,” Gorgan said. “Approach your races with intensity and go all out, but don’t beat yourself up after your race just because you didn’t swim well or you felt like you could have done better.”

The men’s team finished the national championship with 194 points, maintaining their seventh place to close out the weekend. The team proudly took home many school records and personal bests.