By Jessica Ganga
The men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams made their way to the Big Apple this past weekend to compete against New York University (NYU). On Saturday, Nov. 14, both teams fell to NYU. Despite the losses, both teams performed well in various events and are focusing on the future, not allowing the one “L” in the column affect the rest of their season.
The men’s team lost a close meet to the NYU Violets, 151-147.
Once again, the Lions posted impressive numbers and dominated events in the water. Freshman Alex Skoog took first in two events from the meet. In the men’s 100-yard backstroke Skoog swam for a time of 52.24, just beating out his NYU opponent. Skoog competed in another close race, where he beat out an NYU swimmer by a second in the men’s 200-backstroke with a time of 1:52.61.
In the men’s 500-yard freestyle, junior Ryan Gajdzisz finished with a time of 3:46.69. In the men’s 1,000-yard freestyle — a 40-lap race — he posted a time of 9:59.00, taking third in the event.
In the men’s 100-yard breaststroke, senior James Shangle posted an impressive time of 57.19, just beating out his NYU opponent who had a time of 57.58. Shangle had another close race in the men’s 200-yard breaststroke, beating a Violet swimmer by one second, clocking in a time of 2:07.31.
The women’s swimming team fell to the Violets, 207-87, but came into the meet knowing that they were competing against a team who, at the time of the meet, was ranked fourth in the nation — the team has since dropped to fifth.
“NYU women’s team is ranked fourth in the country right now,” coach Jennifer Harnett said. “They are fast and have a lot of depth so we knew going into the meet that it was going to be challenging. We looked at it as an opportunity to swim against the type of team we want to get back to being in the next few years.”
Even with the loss, the women still performed their very best and never gave up in the water.
In the women’s 400-IM, the Lions went first, second and third in the event. Sophomore Debbie Meskin coasted into first with a time of 4:59.41. Seniors Melissa Haley and Sarah Richards followed to place second and third with times of 5:08.20 and 5:11.29, respectively.
Sophomore Marta Lawler inched out an NYU swimmer in the women’s 100-yard freestyle. Lawler placed third in the event with a time of 1:10.57, her opponent came in fourth with a time of 1:10.73.
The women dominated the 400-yard freestyle for a second week in a row, taking first, second and third in the event. The first place team consisted of Lawler, sophomores Ali Huber and Emily Rothstein and senior Lauren Rothstein. The team swam for an impressive time of 3:47.69.
Though it’s tough to see a loss in the column, both teams look to the future and focus on the next meets to come. In their case it will be the TCNJ Invitational, a mid-season meet that mimics the format of the Metropolitan Swim Conference, according to Harnett.
“We will do a couple days of rest for (the invitational) to hopefully produce some faster in season best times, but we will not do a full shave and taper like we do for the conference championship,” Harnett said.