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Men’s swim and dive win NE10 Championship

Avery Martin- Contributor

The men’s swim and dive team won the NE10 Championship for the third time in a row on Feb. 18.  

The Owls dominated the pool with a score of 901. Bentley University finished a distant second with 673 points, and Adelphi University was third with 590.5. Dylan Prescher, a junior, won three individual golds and was named the NE10 Most Outstanding Men’s Swimmer of the meet. 

This was the 16th championship win for the Owls, who have commanded the NE10 swim and dive conference for the past three years. Several of the university’s athletes captured more than one medal. 

The 800-yard freestyle relay team of Drew Ladner, a junior, Henry Velazquez, a senior, Jack Fry, a sophomore, and Franklin Kuhn, a senior, took the gold. Kuhn also finished first in the 200-yard freestyle and 100-yard freestyle while Prescher won the 1000- yard freestyle, 500 yard-freestyle and 1650-yard freestyle. 

There were 10 silver medals for the team, including two in diving for J.T. Tressel, a junior, and two for freestyle relay teams comprising of Kuhn, Fry, Ladner, Travis Scott and Adam Fred, freshmen. There were also seven bronze medals captured.  

“One thing I’ve been hearing since the first meet is that we rise by lifting others,” Prescher said. 

He notes that their wins are due to a strong team bond.  

Together with the women’s team, the athletes practice upwards of 20 hours each week during the season. That is a big factor in what makes them so dominant in the conference.  

“It’s nothing but hard work. That’s really all you can say. We all push each other every day at practice,” Kuhn, a senior, said.  

Head Coach Tim Quill agrees.  

“It is a marathon, a battle within,” Quill said. “We are constantly working with our athletes and the team and getting everyone fired up. If there is a bad swim, we try and make the next swim better.” 

Preacher and Kuhn both say that the secret behind building a culture of winning lies in teamwork and encouraging each other in tough moments.  

“We get through it together and do it as a team even though it is an individual sport,” Kuhn said. 

Their results at the NE10s and other major meets are a testament to the atmosphere of hard work in the pool.  

Besides the medals brought home, the Owls also recorded four top 10 finishes. Quill says that even those who didn’t make it to the podium contributed to the team’s overall win.  

“I think fortunately our team mentally did a really, really good job with that last weekend because we did have a few of those swims that weren’t what we may have expected from the athletes,” Quill said. “But as a team, as a whole, they did a phenomenal job.” 

With the women’s team also securing the championship win, this is the 13th time in the past 21 years that the Owls have swept the championship. 

“I thought the outcome was probably pre-determined in some ways before we got there. So, there was more of a battle within our own program to be able to show how strong of a team we are,” Quill said. 

Still, Preacher said there is always room to improve as the men prepare for next season.  

“I think at least for me, it showed a lot of areas in my races that still need to be improved upon and a lot of areas to work on still,” Prescher said. 

Throughout the remaining spring and summer, the athletes will prepare for next season, which starts in the fall.  

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