By Mackenzie Cutruzzula
The Lions took on the Montclair State University Red Hawks for their season opener on Saturday, Oct. 24, with back-to-back wins for the men’s and women’s swim teams.
Missing out on Homecoming festivities at the College, the Lions dominated in the water with the men’s team finishing with a 193-97 victory and the women’s team winning, 196-97.
The men’s team’s strength came from a senior who left it all in the water as he dove in for his last season opener. James Shangle won four events, including two individual ones, breaking two records. Topping the leaderboard in the 200-yard breaststroke, Shangle broke the College’s record with a time of 2:12.54. He also took first in the 50-yard free with a speedy 21.91.
Shangle kicked off a winning streak in the relays as well, leading off the 400-yard free relay time that toppled the Red Hawks with a record-breaking time of 3:14.94.
Shangle handed off to senior Joseph Dunn who also had a successful meet. In addition to relay wins, Dunn won individually, taking top honors in the 100-yard backstroke, 54.29, and the 100-yard butterfly, 53.70.
Dunn and Shangle were accompanied by freshman Alex Skoog and junior Andrew Nesbitt for the relay team that also won the 200-yard medley relay with a combined time of 1:36.60.
Junior Ryan Gajdzisz won back to back in the 500-yard free and the 200-yard individual medley. Diving for the men, sophomore David Adlai-Gail won both diving events.
On the women’s side, two more records were set in the strong season kick off. The 400-yard freestyle relay team consisting of freshman Maddie Hynoski, senior Lauren Rothstein and sophomores Ali Huber and Emily Rothstein won with a record breaking time of 3:36.98. Junior Brenna Strollo set the other record with a time of 1:01.38 in the 100-yard backstroke.
Rothstein also won in her other three events of the 200-yard medley relay, 50-yard free and 100-yard free.
Younger members of the team made their mark in the breaststroke event, as sophomores Marta Lawler and Madeleine Clements and freshman Lindsay Rippey finished first through third in both the 100-yard and 200-yard events.
The Lions return to the Packer Hall pool for their home opener on Saturday, Oct. 31, against Southern Connecticut State University.