Men’s Swim team defend NE10s this week
Jaylen Carr– Sports Editor
The Owls men’s swimming and diving team look to defend their 2022 championship this year when they travel to Worcester, Massachusetts, to face the best Northeast 10, NE10 competition.
After defeating runner-up Bentley University last season in the NE10 Championship, thanks to players like Chandler Tucker, a graduate student who won three events to help the Owls to victory, he is determined to repeat as champions.
The Owls haven’t repeated as champions since 2015-2016 after defeating Bentley University in both years.
“We are looking to do something special with this team,” Tucker said. “We have a really talented team, and hopefully, we can break some records.”
Head Coach Tim Quill said the team feels excited and prepared to be on the road during the NE10 Championship.
The Owls had recently played against Le Moyne College in Syracuse, New York, where the team responded well despite being away from home, Quill said.
“It’s never easy to go the road because you are swimming in a foreign pool,” Quill said. “It was a pretty demanding schedule, and they performed exceptionally well despite the situation.”
The Owls won the meet against Le Moyne College 150-135 with the help of McAllister Milne, a sophomore who placed first in the 1,000 Yard Freestyle event and broke a Le Moyne pool record in a record time.
Milne said the team has been playing well as of late and looks forward to topping their performance last season.
“The team culture was great last year,” said Milne. “But this year, it just seems like we are gluing well, and the freshman guys are fitting well with the team, and we are ready for the conference meet.”
The 6-3 Owls are looking to continue their momentum into the NE10 championship meet. They have won their last three games to close their regular season.
Quill said, “Every year, the expectation is to contend for a conference team championship.”
As the head coach, there are also individual expectations that he put on himself, which is to make sure the players are in the best position to contend for championship finals, Quill said.
“There are some athletes on the team that have the opportunity to make an NCAA cut or swim in the national championship, so we are thinking about those situations,” Quill said.
Milne and Tucker said their goal is to qualify for NCAA’s qualifying time.
Milne said, “After NE10s, every Division II Conference has a conference meet, and that is where they make the NCAA qualifying times, and that is what I hope to do.”
Tucker, a 14-time NE10 Championship Medalist, said he wants his 800 Yard Relay to qualify for NCCA.
To prepare for the NE10 Championship meet, Tucker said, “I’m just trying to eat healthily, take vitamins, eat vegetables, go to bed early, get a lot of rest.”
Milne said he has been trying not to swim too many yards during practice but rather focusing on the details.
Maybe instead of doing doubles usually three times, we are doing it once or twice a week,” Milne said.
Doubles are when swimmers have to practice or train twice each day in order to prepare for a meet or event.
Quill said, “the most important thing is staying healthy, keep doing great things in practice like they have done, and I think chances are pretty high that they will have themselves a great season culminating event.”
The NE10 Championship meet starts on Feb. 9 and through Feb. 12 in Worcester, Massachusetts, where the Owls will face rival teams Bentley University, who had an undefeated season, Le Moyne College, and Saint Rose.
Tucker said, “Southern is coming, and we are ready.”