Dillon Flannigan – Contributor
The university women’s swimming and diving team defeated the College of Staten Island 135-73, winning their first NE10 conference meet of the year, and with their second win in a row they improved to 3-6.
The Owls entered Hutchison Natatorium inside James Moore Fieldhouse after two weeks off facing the College of Staten Island Dolphins in a dual meet with the Men’s team.
“I think overall the team did very, very well. We were told that we were putting off events, and I think that just gave us more motivation. It doesn’t make us any less motivated. We’re all still trying no matter what events we do, and we work together as a team,” elementary education major Arianna Arturi, a junior, said.
The first event of the day was the 400-yard medley relay which consisted of two teams of Owls. The A team consisted of Abby Lyons, Emma St. Hilaire, Sara Roney and Allyson Quintos, freshmen, who won the event with a time of 4:15.90. The B team consisted of Molly Dodd, a sophomore, Ella Marzec and Natalie Weier, juniors, and Gracie Marsh, a senior. They placed second in the relay 4:30.30 in front of Staten Island’s single squad.
“It was pretty good. I’m very happy about how my events went. Definitely coming off of Thanksgiving break and going hard this week being sore. I think me and the team itself did a really good job with pulling through,” healthcare studies major St. Hillaire said.
In the 1000-yard freestyle, Molly Kennedy, a freshman, placed in first out of three Owls with a time of 11:18.03. Julia Pitchel, a sophomore, etched out ahead of Jordan Herman, a junior, with their respective times of 12:38.47 and 12:44.01.
The top three of the seven competitors in the 200-yard freestyle were the Owls. The top three were led by health and human services major Hailey Nyquist, a junior, with a time of 1:59.32. Lyons finished with a time of 2:04.69, and Weier came in at 2:08.40.
“I was excited. I don’t usually swim the two free or five free. So, I was thrown around a little on the off events, but it was nice to see you know, some different events. It was very exciting,” Nyquist said.
Arturi secured her spot in first place of the 50-yard freestyle at 25:11 and was quickly followed by Jasmine Uricchio, a sophomore, at 26:08.
Uricchio later led the 200-yard individual medley at 2:15.58. She was met by teammates Lindsay McCawley, a junior placing second at 2:18.84 and followed by Paolo Castillo, a sophomore with a time of 2:21.56.
Castillo grabbed her first win at the 100-yard butterfly, timed at 1:00.94. A few seconds later, Arturi, Quitos and Abbey Piech, a junior, rounded out the placement in the event for the university.
In the 100-yard freestyle, Kennedy picked up her second win with a time of 55.90 just ahead of Brooke Keeney, a junior, at 56.24 and Justice Glasgow, a junior, at 56.99.
St. Hilaire won her first individual event of the meet with a time of 1:04.63 in the 100-yard backstroke and was followed by Zoe McNeill, a freshman, at 1:05.85 and Julia Pitchell, a sophomore, with 1:07.22.
“For me, just focusing on myself mentally when it comes to my races and just going into my race, saying you know what, just go out and do it. It has helped instead of overthinking my events. So, it was a surprise for my 100 back, and I was very happy about it,” St. Hilaire said.
Piech was the lone Owl represented in the 500-yard freestyle and did not disappoint with the time of 5:42.08.
Although the Dolphins won the 100-yard breaststroke, the event was very competitive. The four Owls in the event were Arturi, St. Hilaire, McCawley and Keeney, who all finished within milliseconds of each other.
In the final event of the meet, the 400-yard freestyle relay, the Dolphins also won. The A team consisted of McCawley, Uricchio, Roney and Marzec who posted a time of 3:49.41. Compared to the earlier relay, this event also included three other teams from the university. The B team was staffed by Castillo, Quitos, Weier and Glasgow, who posted a 3:56.27. Keeny, Pitchell, Herman and Nyquist of team D posted a time of 4:02.68. The event concluded with team C with Kennedy, McNeill, Marsh and Piech at 4:15.84.
“My main event is the back and then 100 fly. But, as we get closer to championships and figuring out a third event, it’s good to be on some off events and see what I could do,” Nyquist said.
After a few days off over Thanksgiving break, the team returned to readjust to the life of a college athlete. One of the main struggles in performing at the meet was general soreness and fatigue.
“Our butts are being kicked this week; I am not going to lie. So, but I think everyone pushed through it,” Arturi said. “I will be able to recover. I feel better already, but I think next week we’ll do great. We’re doing Yale and at Pace, and I feel confident about it.”
In the pre-game team meeting, the coaches were made aware of the soreness. Head Coach Tim Quill said they could have used it as an excuse. He elaborated: the athletes took that excuse out of the equation and did a good job of it.
“This is one of those few sports where you self-inflict pain upon yourself every single time you get up on the block or when you get in the water and train; there’s nothing easy about that. If you can look a little bit beyond that, like race strategy, work on the little things and pay attention to detail, sometimes that takes the pain away. So, we’re just trying different ideas on how to get the best performance out of them,” said Quill.