Springfield swimming and diving looks to improve on last season’s campaign

Robert Dickey
@Robert_Dickey11

Heading into this upcoming season, the Springfield College men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams look to rebound after a disappointing finish to their 2017-2018 campaign. The team finished with a record of 2-10 and are looking to improve in many places heading into the 2018-19 season.

The NEWMACs did not fare well for the men, as the team finished fifth out of seven teams in the tournament. The team started out strong in Cambridge with a second place finish on the first day of the tournament, followed by a disappointing fourth place finish and two fifth place finishes in the following three days.

The men will look to use the momentum from their two wins last year against Keene State and Union College. Between freshman standouts and hopefully improved performances from upperclassman, the Pride are optimistic heading into the new season.

The women’s team fared better, as the program finished with an overall record of 6-7. The team looks to turn things around and get back to at least the .500 mark this season.

In the NEWMAC tournament the Springfield women finished impressively coming in third out of 10 conference teams, with a total score of 795.5 points. A fourth place finish on the first day came before second and third place finish over the next two days of competition.

The women will look to build off their impressive NEWMAC performances during the 2018-19 season. The team has high expectations going into the year not just for the team’s performance, not just in the pool but also out of it. The women’s team boasts the ninth best academic standing out of all Division III colleges in the country. With such high expectations, this year’s Pride team will have to work incredibly hard to keep up with their goals.

Player to Watch

During the 2018-19 season, the team will boast freshman Erik Jensen. The sports management major from Hainesport, New Jersey was one of the Pride’s top recruits for this year.

Jensen will mainly compete in freestyle and butterfly races, where his personal bests are fantastic, including a 47.58 100-freestyle and a 50.85 100-butterfly. Due to his success, Jensen has his sights set high for his first season swimming on Alden Street.

“I just want to better myself and try to help the team,” he said.

He is well aware that this year’s team can be better than last year’s, and believes there is a certain formula that can be followed for success.

“It’s all about attitude,” claimed the freshman. “It’s about motivation, it’s about the energy you feel when you’re on the pool deck so when people are swimming I’ll be on the sideline cheering and making sure everyone is in good spirits.”

Believing in the team is a big deal for Jensen and the other freshmen that were not involved in last year’s 2-10 record. Jensen believes that this year’s team has what it takes to rebound.

“As long as we stay focused, I think that we can achieve a lot more this year than we ever have,” he said.

Jensen points to the upperclassmen that can help bring the winning culture back to men’s swim.

“They’re there for anything on and off the pool deck even if I need help with my classes they’re there,” Jensen said.  

He knows that being stellar in the pool is not the only thing that matters at Springfield College. Academics have been a huge part of not just the women’s swimming and diving team but also the men’s.

“Last year we had really good academics, especially the girl’s team, and our boys team is getting there,” said Jensen. “We are just looking to better ourselves in the classroom every day.”

Outlook

This year’s men’s swimming and diving team has clearly set their sights high and have the right pieces in place to do so. Freestyle and butterfly specialist Tim DeCoste looks to help carry the program as the only senior on the team.

Despite a tight loss to Coast Guard in their first meet, Springfield had some strong performers. Junior diver Valmore Stewart swept the diving competition by winning the one-meter with a score of 244.60 and the three-meter with a score of 254.10. In the 200 medley relay, Sean Harnish, Anthony Soares, Andy Endress and Sean Mitchell combined for a strong score of 1:41:3, good for a third place finish.

Springfield looks to secure its first win of the year against NEWMAC opponent MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts at 1:00 on Saturday, November 10.

On the women’s side, their first meets ended in losses as they took part in a tri-meet at the University of Rhode Island on Saturday, September 27. Freshman Grace Moore was one of the stars of the competition as she took home a win in the 100 backstroke race. Junior Amelia McKenzie coasted to a third place finish in the 100m breaststroke and a fourth place finish in the 200m breaststroke.

The women will look to rebound from their losses to Coast Guard and URI when they head to Northampton Massachusetts on Tuesday, November 6th to take on Smith College at 7:00 p.m. With an outing that shows growth from their first meet, Springfield believes that they can respond and get the win.

Photo courtesy of Springfield Athletics 

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