By Joanna Shin
This past Saturday, Oct. 18, the College’s swimming and diving team started its season off with a big victory, competing at Ramapo’s Bradley Center against Ramapo College. Both the men’s and women’s teams delivered impressive performances and began their year with a great opening.
The men’s team showed their strengths on first event, the 200-yard medley relay. Senior Aleksander Burzynski, junior Joseph Dunn, sophomore Vince Masciandaro and sophomore Jin Roh swam to a winning time of 1:37.25. Reigning NJAC Rookie of the Year Ryan Gadjzisz and sophomore Scott Vitabile dominated in the 200-yard freestyle, swimming times of 1:44.42 and 1:46.27, respectively.
The team appeared to be driven with the two wins in the beginning events. However, they were only getting started.
“The guys went into the meet tired, but we all raised really well, and we still won most, if all, of the events,” freshman Chris O’Sullivan said.
The swimmers continued to take over their meet as Gadjzisz took another win in the 200-yard backstroke at 2:02.33, and Roh placed first in the 100-back with a time of 54.04. Freshmen Logan Barns and Joseph Dunn also took top honors in the 200-yard butterfly at 2:04.88 and 2:07.28, respectively. In the 100-breastroke and 200-breaststroke event, sophomore Andrew Nesbitt achieved the blue ribbon for both events, crossing with times of 1:00.60 and 2:16.60.
The men did not stop their wins. Four swimmers, Nesbitt, senior Brett Pedersen, Vitabile and Dunn ended with the fastest finish in the 400-yard freestyle relay at 3:13.61.
As the men’s team conquered its first swim meet, the women’s team was also showing outstanding results.
“Our team has been training hard the last few weeks,” senior Carlyn Fallon said. “And while we’re excited to see where we are speed-wise, we’re also just looking to bring enthusiasm onto the deck and get to the wall first.”
The women’s team opened with their first win in the 100-yard backstroke by sophomore Brenna Strolla, who finished at 1:02.06. She took on many achievements this weekend, placing first in the 200-yard backstroke at 2:13.00 and in the 200-yard IM at 2:15.43. Senior and co-captain Summer Thomas won the 500-yard freestyle at 5:33.18 as Emily Rothstein was placed runner-up in the same event at 5:44.95. Thomas received second place in the 100-yard freestyle event, finishing at 55.66.
“The meet started out closer than we anticipated,” Thomas said. “But the team stayed positive and fought to the finish to pull out a win.”
The team continued to show no mercy as senior Brennah Ross participated in the 100-yard butterfly and got first place, crossing at a time of 1:00.61. Sophomore Colleen Magley, freshman Allison Huber, junior Lauren Rothstein and Thomas led another victory in the 400-yard freestyle relay at 3:49.03
Both the men’s and women’s teams will continue to strive and make improvements as the season goes on. With 12 new freshmen on the women’s team, Coach Jennifer Harnett said the team is “working on a meet lineup is going to be quite different from last year.”
“It may take a few meets to see how we are the strongest, but a win is always a great way to start the season,” she said.