By Miguel Gonzalez
After a memorable last home meet, the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams capped off their regular season on a tear at William Paterson University on Saturday, Feb. 3.
Both the men and women outpaced William Paterson, achieving final scores of 167-118 and 139-97 respectively.
At the 1000-freestyle, freshman Kai Michaud claimed first place with a time of 10:17.68. Just five seconds later, fellow freshman Griffin Morgan placed second with a time of 10:22.98 followed by junior Sam Maquet in third with a time of 10:28.93.
The rookies kept the momentum going when freshman Joseph Skotnicki earned first place in the 200-freestyle, clocking in at 1:51.04.
At the 100-backstroke, sophomore Derek Kneisel swam to first with a time of 54.17. Meanwhile, senior Logan Barnes secured yet another first place finish for the Lions at the 100-breaststroke, clocking in at 1:02.62.
The Lions were also dominant in the 200-medley relay. The underclassmen squad of freshmen Patrick Bakey, Andrew Thompson, Kneisel and sophomore Brian Tucker pushed their way to first with a time of 1:41.35. Bakey was not done yet, as he won the 50-freestyle and clocked in at 22.59. Thompson then dominated the 100-freestyle and snatched first place with a time of 49.03.
Sophomore Harrison Yi continued the Lions’ success as he won the 200-breastroke with a time of 2:18.51. Fellow sophomore David Madigan also captured first place at the 500-freestyle with a time of 5:03.74. At the diving board, freshman Jay Soukup performed well at the 1-meter event and earned first place with a score of 231.01.
Men’s swimming and diving head coach Brian Bishop was satisfied with the win at William Paterson.
“It was a nice comeback win after the tough loss to Rowan,” Bishop said. “Everyone was hyper-focused and it showed with a couple of early sweeps.”
The Lions’ domination was similar on the women’s side. Women’s swimming and diving head coach Jennifer Harnett said the team was well prepared coming into William Paterson.
“We knew they did not have a strong team but we set some team goals for ourselves and came in with great energy for the meet,” Harnett said. “There were some great races both with William Paterson and within our own team.”
The freshmen were well represented at the 200-medley relay. The freshmen squad of Elise Fraser, Melanie Fosko, Kayla Krisak and Jamie Bowne took first place with a winning time of 1:58.01.
Bowne secured another win in the 200-butterfly with a time of 2:27.83. Bowne’s effort was overshadowed by junior Hailey Thayer’s hat-trick performance.
Thayer started off with a victory in the 50-freestyle, clocking in at 26.17. She then swept the 500-freestyle, recording a time of 5:39.55. Thayer capped off her performance at the 200-individual medley with a winning time of 2:27.37.
Meanwhile, the Lions showed no signs of sophomore slumps. It all started with sophomore Annie Menninger capturing first place at the 200-freestyle with a time of 2:02.22. Fellow sophomore Samantha Askin then claimed first in the 100-breastroke with a time of 1:15.24. Sophomore Kazia Moore also secured first place in the 100-freestyle and clocked in at 56.79.
The team’s upperclassmen had stellar performances as well. Junior Gabi Denicola outlasted the competition at the 1,000-freestyle, clocking in at 11:17.07.
Senior Jillian Galindo secured another victory for the Lions at the 200-breastroke with a time of 2:43.50. At the diving board, senior Hannah Raymond displayed a first place performance at the 1-meter event and scored 272.93 points.
Harnett complemented Raymond’s efforts to be on top.
“Hannah is extremely talented and a hard worker,” Harnett said. “She makes everything look so easy. It has been great to see her shine in her senior year.”
The Lions now prepare for the upcoming Metropolitan Conference Championships. The meet is scheduled to be held at Rutgers University-New Brunswick from Feb. 16 to Feb. 18.