Jennifer Hoffer - Special to Southern News -
The Owls’ Men’s Swimming and Diving season is approaching and the team is already eyeing the meet against their rival, College of Saint Rose. This will be the first home meet of the season.
Head coach Tom Quill said he is anticipating a good season for the swimming and diving team. Quill, whose team won the conference championship in 2011-2012, said he is looking to repeat that achievement again this season.
Between both the men’s and woman’s teams, Owls swimming and diving has a combined record of 17-18 in the conference title championship.
The team has overcome a lot of adversity and Quill said he is well aware of it and the importance it plays to a team.
“Team unity is a big part and plays a dominant role in the daily training of the athletes,” Quill said.
As for team goals this season Quill is focused on having his athletes perform well individually, working towards the ultimate goal of winning the championships.
But this team goes further than their success in the pool.
“Education,” Quill says. “Education is the most important part of our jobs as coaches to these kids. The performance in the class room is huge. All of this contributes to the team’s success.”
Quill says he motivates his athletes to be the best they can be, both in the pool and in the classroom.
Kyle Pietro, junior captain for the Owls, had a successful 2011-2012 season. He finished sixth in the 400 IM, which is one of Pietro’s favorite heats.
“I like the 400 IM (individual medley), which is all four strokes in one race,” Pietro said. “It’s pretty grueling, but it’s a lot of fun.”
As for the team as a whole, Pietro said they are aiming high, just as they do every
“We always try and win our conference championship,” Pietro said. “The most important thing is to swim fast and be at our best at meets, but our final meet is where we do our fastest and best times.”
Pietro also said that the team overcame a lot of adversity last season and they are looking to capitalize on that this season.
“We want to continue this winning tradition we have here at Southern,” Pietro said.
The team has a new approach each year, but Pietro says the workout changes everyday depending on the player. But players focus mainly on their primary stroke.
“Generally some workouts change and some stay the same,” Pietro said.
Pietro is a first-year captain this year and is looking forward to becoming more of a leader.
“Last year I was sort of a leader, but I’m definitely stepping it up a lot more this year, Pietro said. “I’m excited about this season.”
Jacob Loschiavo, also a junior and captain, is hopeful that the team will make a run in the Metropolitan Championships, which takes place at the end of the season.
Loschiavo’s strokes are the 500 freestyle and the 200 butterfly.
“I feel like my freestyle is my strongest stroke,” Loschiavo said.
But personally, Loschiavo said he is working on building more strength in the weight room to help him score better times in the pool.
“That’s one of my many goals for this season, but I also think that it is also the goal of the whole team too,” Loschiavo said.
Loschiavo’s outlook for the team runs parallel to Pietro’s predictions. But Loschiavo also gave kudos to the women’s swimming and diving team too.
“I think we have a strong team on both the women and men’s sides,” Loschiavo said. “The athletes we have are very talented.”