Today: Apr 14, 2024

Freshmen swimmers making a splash


Being an incoming college freshman can be difficult for an 18-year-old, but for Dan Elliot and Michael LaDelfa it’s just another lap. 

photo courtesy
Freshman Dan Elliot (left) and Michael LaDelfa (right) have both posted numerous top-20 finishes so far this season.

Elliot and LaDelfa are two new additions to Southern’s swimming and diving team and they are both enjoying success so far.

“This season is off to a good start,” said LaDelfa, who is majoring in business finance with a minor in economics.  

Delfa is from New Milford and he has been swimming since he was 10. He swims distance freestyle for the team. 

“My best meet to date this season would have to be the Rutgers Invitational,” he said. “I got two overall best times of the season and placed within the top-eight finishes in the 500-yard freestyle.” 

LaDelfa chose to swim at Southern because of its highly competitive Division II men’s and women’s programs.

photo courtesy Southernctowls.comLaDelfa said he finds practices to be challenging at times, but he knows all the hard work he is putting in now will pay off come championship season.

“Michael and Dan are great assets to the team; it’s awesome to have them,” said Sal Marino, a sophomore accounting major.  

“The team is really close, and we all like to have a good time in and out of the pool. The family dynamic we have all created this season makes it a very enjoyable experience,” said LaDelfa. 

Dan Elliot is from Bellmore, N.Y. and has been competitively swimming since 7th grade.

“Swimming for Southern is very different from anything I’ve ever done on previous teams I’ve been on,” said Elliot, who is majoring in exercise science.

Elliot said he chose to swim at Southern because head coach Tim Quill’s program would allow him to reach his full potential as an athlete. 

“My favorite thing about swimming is dropping a ton of time at championships and knowing that all of my hard work paid off,” said Elliot. 

Elliot’s position on the team is IM, also known as individual medley. This means he swims an event using all four of the competitive strokes on consecutive lengths. The order for this event: butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, freestyle. 

“The training is really intense but I really enjoy working harder than I’ve ever worked before,” said Elliot. “The team is very close and we have a great bond and I like that because it makes those intense workouts easier to overcome.”

Quill said he has a general concept and program for how he coaches both the men’s and women’s swimming team. He practices the whole team the same and then breaks the swimmers into groups based on certain strokes. 

“Each athlete is different from how they perform and practice,” said Quill. “Right now both of the boys are showing promise and it’s all about adjusting to the new team and it seems that they have.”

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