By Emma Pascarella
The Men’s Swimming and Diving team has taken their season to a whole new level following a massive win on Saturday. The team has now been named 2022-23 NJAC Conference Champions when they went head to head against Rowan University.
The win was an accomplishment the team had discussed before the start of the season that they had hoped to be achieved. And sure enough that goal was attained.
The day of the meet was beyond exhilarating, and the stakes were high as the team had suffered a loss from Rowan last season.
James McChesney, a junior accounting major, expressed that the team was locked in, stating, “We take all of our meets seriously, but against an NJAC rival and for the NJAC conference championship, there was a different energy in the air.”
With all the excitement in the air, the team had their sights on a goal that they had been preparing for everyday since the beginning of their season.
“The final conference dual meet against Rowan was an inspiring meet where I truly saw the team come together as a family,” said Andrew Kidchob, a freshmen finance major. “Many of the swims completed that day were purely out of selfless passion.”
Kidchob won the first Rookie of the Week award of the season in October and grasped his second selection after the conference win this past week.
The Lions now hold an impressive record of 9-2, but the job is not done for these players as they still have team expectations and goals yet to be achieved.
Conrad Hoody, a senior finance major, expressed that winning the NJAC was just the start for the team.
“Everyone is aware of the larger goals that we have for the remainder of the season like winning the Metropolitan Conference and qualifying for NCAA’s,” Hoody said.
When speaking to these individuals, some of the other goals that had been discussed were to be a top 10 team in the country and take more swimmers to NCAA championships than last year.
Last season, Hoody was a key factor to the team as he was NCAA All-American for the 800 Free Relay and a 1st Team CSCAA Scholar All-American.
Hoody believes the team's success came from three major factors: the team as a whole (from all the seniors to all the freshmen), the leadership from the team’s captains and the coaches that prepared them everyday for the meets.
Kidchob, on the other hand, believes the team's loud energy and unique ability to retain a positive attitude is what has been the answer to the success they have achieved thus far.
“I believe I haven’t gone through a practice without a teammate cheering someone else on,” Kidchob said.
McChesney credits the team's success to simply being “the right group of guys.”
The team is excited to continue the next phase of their season and not take their foot off the gas pedal as they have many more goals to yet be achieved. The Lions are scheduled to enter the MET Championship meet starting the weekend of Feb. 16.