Jennifer Hoffer – Sports Writer –
For the tenth year in a row, the Owls’ Women’s Swimming and Diving team have claimed the Northeast-10 title. Along with the men, who dominated their competitions, captured their ninth titles in ten years.
Both the women and men won numerous events over the course of the three days.
Sal Marino, senior, said the success solely has to do with this team.
“This team is different from teams in the past,” Marino said. “Our team is a lot closer. “And that’s something I haven’t had since I’ve been here. This year we definitely came together and worked hard.”
Jimmy Zummo, junior, echoed what Marino had said about the team. Zummo said the atmosphere that the team has when they are competing, makes that in itself, motivating enough to keep the winning tradition going.
“We all like each other,” Zummo said. “We all have fun with each other, everybody’s cheering for each other. It’s a good time out there this year. It’s a lot of fun.”
The young team the Owls have doesn’t hurt the team either, Zummo said. To him, the talented team just makes for a continued bright future for the swimming program at Southern.
“We have a very good recruiting class coming in next year,” Zummo said. “They’re big time recruits. Fast kids which will just add more and more talent to this team.”
The men are only losing two seniors after this season ends.
“We’re going to basically have the same team as we did this year,” Zummo said. “Plus a whole different caliber of athletes. It’s going to be interesting to see what we do next year and how we stack up in all of Division II instead of just the NE-10.”
For the women, they’re winning tradition also continues with ten straight Northeast-10 Conference titles.
Not only did the team win the title, but individual players also broke records and improved on times of their own.
Amanda Thomas, senior, was named the NE-10 Most Valuable Swimminer, breaking a conference record for the 200 backstroke with a time of 2:00:58.
Kristen Schmid, senior, credits the team’s success to their hard work ethic and different skills that they all bring to the pool every night.
“Our coach told us that he wanted to wish us good luck going into this championship,” Schmid said. “But he doesn’t think that luck has anything to do with it, it’s all skill.
The Owls have a history with St. Rose, a team from Albany, New York.
Junior, Oscar Castillo, and Geist said that one of their main goals is to beat up on St. Rose every time that they’re competing with them.
“We always want to win our meets against St. Rose,” Geist said. “We want to prove that we are the best team in the conference, get those point, and we did.”
The win earlier in the season against St.Rose, Castillo said, really pushed the team in the right direction to keep winning, keep swimming hard and try to claim that NE-10 title, which they did.
“Not only did our victories in the dual meets against St. Rose boost our confidence, our dual meets against top team like Yale did, too,” Castillo said. “We don’t usually win against them but they show us what good quality swimming is and we only learn from them.”
Schmid said that the team’s been eying the championship the whole season.
“We’ve known all year that this competition was going to be really close this season at the championship,” Schmid said. “So we’ve really been pushing hard and maximizing every potential and I think we’ve definitely showed that off.”
Both the women and men continue to keep this winning streak going as they head to Piscataway, New Jersey where they hope to claim the top spot again at the Metropolitan Championships. The championships begin February 15.