The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Swimming and diving struggles at championship despite records

The swim and dive team broke five school records last weekend. (Photo by Hannah Ally for GoLeopards)

The swimming and diving team wrapped up the 2023-24 season last weekend, competing in the Patriot League Championship hosted by the Naval Academy.

“The Patriot League Championship is always a nerve-wracking meet,” senior Kaley Snarr said. “Everyone works so hard all year and just wants to perform their best times.”

Despite the men finishing seventh in the conference and the women in last, the meet was an improvement for the Leopards after a disappointing showing in last year’s championship.

“I think there was definitely more pressure than in previous years, just because last year we didn’t do as well as we felt we should have done,” junior Sean Robinson said.

The team faced the occasion with a heightened level of concentration

“I feel like everybody was pretty locked in the whole week,” junior Peter Kawash said. “Everybody kind of backed each other up every swim and like cheering each other on, which was really cool.”

The team’s preparation was particularly rigorous this year, with a focus on the mental aspect of the sport.

“This year, we talked a lot during the practices leading up about mental rehearsal and not getting in your head too much,” Snarr said. “I think everyone did a great job at this and really just had fun at the meet which allowed people to swim so well.”

The men’s team broke five school records and missed another six by one-half of a second or less. These records included the 200-yard medley from senior James Lapsley, juniors Timothy Jimenez and Peter Kawash and freshman Alexander Reihl. The record-breaking 200-yard freestyle included the same lineup with junior Antonio Arena in place of Lapsley, and the 400-yard freestyle relay included Kawash, Riehl, Arena and sophomore Tommy Weber.

Additionally, junior Andrew Campbell broke the individual 500-yard freestyle school record and Kawash broke an individual school record in the 100-yard backstroke.

“There was only one relay that we really thought that we could pretty easily break the record in,” Kawash said “The other two were kind of a surprise just because the previous teams that held the record were pretty quick. It was an all-four guys effort to really swim fast and help each other out to make sure the pressure wasn’t just on one guy.”

The women’s team was also able to break a school record: juniors Maggie Ivie and Shaniya Newton and freshmen Sarah Newman and Diedre-McKenna Scudder shattered the 800-yard freestyle relay mark by over three seconds.

With the season coming to a close, the Leopards are getting a chance to reminisce on the year and to look to the future.

“I thought the team dynamic was really great this year,” Kawash said. “I thought we were a really close group. Seniors to freshman, there was no real divide.”

“Looking forward to next year, it’s kind of all-or-nothing,” Robinson said. “We’re the biggest class Jim [Dailey] has ever had, there’s 10 junior guys and 14 junior girls so I think that our coach is going to expect a lot from us.”

This also signifies the final race that the class of 2024 will ever swim for the Maroon and White.

“It’s so crazy that we’re done,” Snarr said. “We came into Lafayette during Covid which made it really hard to connect at first with people. Thankfully our grade has become super close and has been there for each other and the whole team over the past four years.”

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Charlie Berman
Charlie Berman, Sports Editor

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