Women’s Swim Team looks to win NE10
Avery Martin – Contributor
For the Southern Connecticut Women’s Swimming and Diving team, their next competition is a big one. On Feb. 9th, they will head to Worcester, Massachusetts to compete in the Northeast 10 (NE10) conference.
Maddie Dean, a senior majoring in Political Science, says, “We are justing getting down to the details now, working on things we can improve that we have been working on all season long.”
The 2022-23 season has been full of ups and downs for the Owls. The reigning NE10 Championship winning team has recorded six losses, six wins, and one 5th out of six place finish.
When asked about how he feels the team is going into the Championships, Coach Tim Quill said “We are feeling pretty good. We just had a stretch of four meets in eight days, which is not easy in any competitive environment. It was a pretty demanding schedule and they performed extremely well considering the situation.”
The team’s last meet before the NE10s was on January 19th against Le Moyne. In this conference matchup, the Owls took a 159-128 victory. Two Southern relay teams finished second and third in the 200-yard Medley relay.
Individual swimmers Paola Castillo, Brooke Keeney, Heiley Nyquist, Maddie Dean, Justice Glasgow, Arianna Arturi, Faith Littleton, Lindsay McCawley, Jasmine Urrichio, and Olivia Strelevitz all topped their respective events. Diver Nicholle Denault won the 1-meter diving event.
Quill says some of the standout stars on the team include “Maddie Dean, Olivia Strelevitz, Lindsay McCawley. These are three that can contend in that championship fight scenario. We also have some new faces this year with Jasmine Urrichio and Paola Castillo. They have a really good shot to maybe make a national championship”.
The team competed in four other meets after the semester one final exams were over. Out of those, three were wins and one was a loss. Castillo, Urricho, Strelevitz, Arturi, Dean, and Denault were among those with especially strong results. Denault finished in the top three in her events at every meet since Dec. 9th.
“We’ve been performing really well and working together really well so it is going to be a powerful statement that we are going to put out at the NE10s” said Paola Castillo, a freshman majoring in psychology.
“Every athlete on the team has a realistic shot of making a championship final in one event or more”. Quill says.
The team will take these encouraging words with them to Massachusetts in February. Before they go, however, they will be in the pool continuously working on bettering themselves and their skills.
“We are working on little things on our starts, on our turns, and just working on race strategy and any little thing we can do to get ahead right now”. Dean says.
As the days near closer to the all-important championship meet, Dean and Castillo are keen to see their individual goals come to fruition.
“I want to make it to NCAA’s possibly and I want to come out with a few first place finishes” said Castillo.
“I definitely want to improve my relay starts and diving off of other people, but I also want the whole team to get more and more excited about what we can do each day,” says Dean.
Being defending champions means there are added expectations this year. Said Dean, “There’s definitely pressure but it helps us throughout the whole season knowing that we are going into defend. I do think we have a good shot at winning this year so there’s alot of excitement.”
“They are ready. They are battle-tested,” Quill said.
When asked what the public should know about her team, Castillo said, “Just keep and eye out for Southern and watch us live! We will be doing our best to represent Southern and we are going to put on a great show!”