By Michael Battista
The Lions put on a strong performance on Saturday, Feb. 7, against William Paterson University, beating them 174-91. Coming into their matchup against the Pioneers, the College had already clinched its eighth-straight NJAC title, which was presented to both the men’s and women’s teams at the end of the meet, respectively.
Before the event started, both teams paid respect to the Lions’ seniors, for whom this would be the last regular season meet at the College. Seniors Meaghan Burke, Carlyn Hubert, Katie Reilly, Brennah Ross, Summer Thomas, Chrisitan Bacchia, Aleksander Burzysnki, Christopher Dunn, Dennis Hall-App, Mark Marsella, Brett Pedersen and Brian Perez were all honored with flowers as their accomplishments in both sports and academics were announced over the loudspeakers.
Thomas, the women’s team captain, said that the entire event was emotional.
“It’s really sad,” she said. “It’s almost all over, and this is my last time swimming in this pool for the College.”
After that however, both teams got ready for the challenge William Paterson presented.
In the first race, the women’s 200 yard medley relay, the Lion’s came out strong taking four of the top five spots, starting with 15 points.The men quickly followed suit in their 200 yard medley relay, with the top three all being Lions’ swimmers securing 15 more points.
The women’s 1000 yard freestyle also saw Lions freshman Marta Lawler, freshman Madeline Clements and freshman Kathleen Kilfeather taking the top three spots, respectively, and getting 16 points.
Many of the swimmers had multiple victories during the day, including Pedersen, who won both the 100 yard breaststroke and the 500 yard freestyle.
The College continued with its success for the rest of the day, with freshman Chris O’Sullivan winning on the men’s 1000 yard freestyle, freshman Emily Rothstein and junior Joe Dunn winning their 200 yard freestyle races, and freshman Jillian Galindo and Junior Dante Colucci winning their team’s 100 yard backstroke race. In the 100 yard breaststroke, Ross came through for his team in the last home race with a win.
After the win, Hubert, co-captain of the women’s team, said the team needs to keep its morale up while moving forward into the Metropolitan Conference Championships.
“A lot of it is keeping the team’s morale high,” she said. “But around this time, everyone gets excited for Mets.”
Thomas also thinks that some practices up until the championships will help the team focus.
“We just need to work on the little things and train hard for two weeks,” Thomas said.
The conference championships start next week on Friday, Feb. 20, at Rutgers University in Piscataway, N.J.
Looking forward at her remaining time with the team, Hubert closed by reminding people it’s not just about one person.
“This whole thing is bittersweet, but events like this remind you it’s a team sport not just won by an individual,” Hubert said.