Swimming and Diving sets five records at intrasquad scrimmage
Published: Monday, September 30, 2013
Updated: Monday, September 30, 2013 21:09
Delaware men’s and women’s swimming and diving began their 2013 season with their annual Blue and Gold Intrasquad Scrimmage at the the Bob Carpenter Center Saturday.
After a modest fourth and sixth place finish for the men’s and women’s teams respectively in the CAA’s last year, head coach John Hayman said he has high hopes for the team going into the 2013-2014 season, especially after Saturday.
One reason for Hayman’s hope is the blend of senior leadership with incoming freshmen talent. That leadership begins at the top with the men’s captains, consisting of senior backstroker/butterfly Cole Clark and senior distance/freestyle Matt Marquez, while the women’s captains are senior freestyle/butterfly Kaitlin Wolla and senior sprint/freestyle Mary Kay Harris.
Marquez, who had a strong performance in the 200-yard butterfly, said the team’s effort was impressive.
“I’m really happy with our performance today,” Marquez said. “The freshmen really stepped it up today, which we needed after graduating a lot of seniors last year.”
One freshman Marquez specifically mentioned was Alex Hillsey, who in his first meet against college competition, was extremely impressive, nearly setting a record on his way to winning the men’s 200-yard individual medley.
“All the seniors and older guys have been great,” Hillsey said. “A college meet is a totally different atmosphere, and it felt really good to be a part of it.”
Harris seconded that idea, saying one of the benefits of this meet, aside from getting some important times, is to get the excitement and the jitters out before NCAA competition opens up.
Harris, who swam the 50 and 100 yard freestyle, said the chemistry of the team this year has been great.
“Everyone has had such a positive attitude, I feel like the gelling process happened much faster this year,” Harris said.
Such an attitude was seen when star diver Luke Winkler hopped in the water and swam in the final relay of the day with the swimmers.
Head diving coach Kelly-Ayn McKay said she was pleased with her part of the team’s performance. She said aside from Winkler, nearly every diver had at least one or two really strong dives despite not having much practice.
As for the swimming portion, Hayman, now in his 26th year of coaching, said the team is far from mid-season form, but will improve over time.
“The potential is definitely there,” he said. “We have a lot of raw, green, but talented swimmers with room to excel.”
While the men’s team is hoping to improve in the sprinting area, that is something that should be a strength for the women’s team. When viewed as a unit however, the Hens are in a great position going their first NCAA meet against the Georgetown Hoyas next Saturday at Harry W. Rawstrom Natatorium in the Bob Carpenter Sports Building.
Hayman said the team’s performance on Saturday shows the strength the team has for the season.
“We had five records set today,” Hayman said. “So if that’s any indication of where we are at compared the years past, I think we are in good shape.”