Today: Apr 14, 2024

Men’s swimming looking to win eighth conference championship in nine years

PAT LONGOBARDISports Writer

In 2011, the SCSU men’s swimming and diving team will have a little transition this season while trying to win the Northeast-10 Conference championships for the eighth time out of the past nine years.

With one of the largest teams in years, the Owls are very deep and ready to continue their success in the bigger meets.

“We have a young program and we’ve been learning the system and how to train effectively,” head coach Tim Quill said. “It’s a learning curve for guys at the college level. They will swim in races that they never swam in before.”

Seniors Matthew Sorena and Timothy Steiskal will serve as captains this season for the Owls.

“They are good leaders,” head coach Tim Quill said. “They showed good leadership for four years. They are motivated, positive and confident individuals.”

“It is a lot of responsibility,” Sorena said. “I enjoy doing it. I’ve been with the team for three years and it’s great that the four [Austin Mizzell, Miguel Nesrala, Sorena, Steiskal] of us are here.” The four are the only seniors.

Sorena (Brookfield, Conn.) was named the Northeast-10 Conference Swimmer of the Year and the Most Outstanding Championship Performer last season. He also earned All-America honors in his career and claimed four NE-10 titles (500 yard freestyle, the 400 yard medley relay, 200-yard butterfly and the 400-yard freestyle relay) and one Metropolitan Conference championship in the 1650 freestyle.

Steiskal (Naugatuck, Conn.) finished third in the 1650 freestyle at last year’s Northeast-10 Championships. He also won the Mossman Triathlon in July and competed in the national stage of that event on Aug. 20 representing Connecticut.

This season the roster will consist of four seniors, one junior, 10 sophomores and 10 freshmen.

“We have weak diving competitors, which will lose us some diving points,” Quill said. “We can make it up along with our depth.”

Sorena (200 IM, 100 butterfly, 200 butterfly), Austin Mizzell (400 IM, 100 breaststroke), and Domenick Errico (200 backstroke) each won at the Blue Devil Duals last weekend. The 800 freestyle relay team also won.

The Owls next look to traveling to Saint Rose on Oct. 28. The home opener will be Oct. 29 for the Alumni Meet. The Owls will again host the Northeast-10 Conference Championships from Feb. 2-4 at Hutchinson Natatorium. The Metropolitan Championships will be on Feb. 17-19 and the NCAA Championships will be Mar. 7-10 in Dallas, Tex.

Southern was ranked No. 21 last season in the TYR/College Swimming Coaches Association of America Division II rankings and was nearly 300 points ahead of second place during the NE-10 Championships.

With a new rules change to qualify for the national championships, the Owls will try to improve and try to put more athletes in from last year on both squads.

“With the new rule change, it’s unbelievably fast,” Sorena said. “Some even get discouraged. You have to keep everybody motivated for that level.”

Chad Snyder was among the six athletes and the lone member from the men’s team to make it to the National Championships in San Antonio, Tex. last season. He finished 18th in the one-meter diving competition.

Sorena says the thought process early on is to just see where everybody is at.

“We will try to take both the NE-10 and Metro Conference for the men and break some records,” he said. “We’re training really hard to prepare and incorporate that into the training. We have been able to mix it up and get ready for championship mode.”

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