Swim team dreams big this season
Philip Zoppi – Sports Writer
The men’s and women’s swimming teams at Southern both came into the season with high expectations.
The women’s team only graduated one swimmer from last year, and are bringing in nine new freshmen to this year’s team. Tim Quill, coach of both teams, believes the women’s team has a chance to be very successful even though other programs may be counting them out.
“Although I know a lot of programs would say we’re underdogs I don’t really look at it that way,” said Quill. “I think a lot of programs still look at us as a team to beat because of how many conference titles we have under our belt.”
One of the swimmers that Quill is going to be looking at to lead the women’s team is 2016 Northeast-10 Swimmer of the Year, Katherine Crochet.
Crochet was recently named a preseason All-American; only 121 swimmers from 38 different institutions were selected for that honor. However, Crochet is more concerned with the team’s success as suppose to her personal achievements.
“I believe, and many others on the team believe that we have a good shot to win the conference title this year,” said Crochet. “That’s kind of our focus and main mission throughout this year. We’re working up to that point.”
On a personal note, some of Crochet’s main goals this season include becoming a national champion in either the 50 or 100 freestyle, and repeating as NE-10 Women’s Swimmer of the Year.
Coach Quill had nothing but positive comments to say about Crochet going into the season.
“I know that her goals and objectives are very high, she sets very high standards for herself,” said Quill. “She’s a great young lady who has a great work ethic. Being a junior captain says a lot about her, she has the team’s respect.”
On the other side, the men’s swimming team is not bringing back nearly as many swimmers as the women’s team, as they graduated six seniors from last year. Four of those swimmers who graduated were conference champions last year.
Quill knows it is going to be tough to replace talent like that, but still has confidence heading into the season.
“Graduating six seniors last year is pretty tough to replace,” said Quill. “But we do have a very good freshmen class this year. I think the men have their challenges this year with a lot of youth so it’s going to be a different year. With a different year brings a lot of excitement, though. Who knows who’s going to step up the plate and emerge as freshman. We have a repetition and a dynasty to uphold.”
Quill is right, they do have a repetition and dynasty to uphold. The men’s swimming team has won six straight conference titles, so expectations are still high.
Senior captain, Raymond Snyder, acknowledged the team lost a lot of key pieces from last year, but still has faith in the team.
“We lost a lot of talent,” said Snyder. “I’m still expecting to be there at the top of the Northeast-10 and hopefully we can keep the tradition going of bringing a championship home. It’s going to be very difficult, but I think we have the right crew to do it.”
Snyder and Quill are expecting a big year, as Snyder was a conference champion in the 100 backstroke, 200 freestyle relay, 200-medley relay, 400 freestyle relay, and 400-medley relay in his junior season.
Both the men and women’s swimming teams will start their seasons on Sept. 30 in a meet against West Chester and Shippensburg.
Photo Courtesy: SCSU Athletic Communications