This past Saturday, both the Hopkins men’s and women’s swimming teams kicked off their seasons with decisive victories over visiting Rowan University.
With each team ranked 5th nationally in the most recent CSCAA poll, Blue Jay swimming lived up to its expectations in its convincing season-opening wins.
Lady Blue Jays swimmer Hannah Benn said, “We were favored in this one and we didn’t take Rowan for granted.”
The men’s team won eight of the nine events, all relays, to open the season on a high note. The Lady Blue Jays won all 10 events in a relay meet, sweeping the top three spots in 7 of the 10 events.
Hopkins men’s swimming opened the meet with a sweep of the top three spots in the 400 Medley Relay. The team of Justin Tang, Joe Acquaviva, Anthony Lordi and Tyler Woods won the event in 3:31.98. Close behind in second, the foursome of David Woodford, Gideon Hou, Joseph Connors and Dan Raynard came in at a time of 3:35.85. Dylan Davis, Alex Polyak, Carter Gisriel and Ed Pagano completed the sweep at 3:36.04.
The Blue Jays continued their winning ways in the 1000 Freestyle and 300 Backstroke Relays by once again taking the top three spots. Aaron Katrikh, Will Kimball, Alec Contag and Nick Schmidt placed first in the 1000 Freestyle with a time of 9:19.34. In the 300 Backstroke, the team of Davis, Woodford, Ryan Cunningham and Michael McGoldrick clocked in at 2:40.56 to take the top spot. Lordi, Ryan Walter, Polyak and Connors combined to win the 400 IM Relay, clocking in at 3:48.72. Kimball, Schmidt, Berkay Polat and Dylan Coggin followed with a win in the 200 Free Kick Relay with a time of 2:13.83. The 300 Breaststroke saw the team of Acquaviva, Polyak, Hou and Bill Gravley defeat the second place Rowan team by more than seven seconds with a time of 3:01.53.
Katrikh, Raynard, Schmidt and Lordi followed with a win in the 500 Freestyle Relay by finishing in 4:07.96. The Blue Jays then wrapped up the meet, placing teams at first and second place in the 200 Medley Relay.
On the women’s side, the team of Melinda Yau, Taylore King, Kylie Holden and Taylor Kitayama took first place in the 400 Medley Relay with a time of 4:07.87. Following in second place was Benn, Cristina Cusumano, Sarah Rinsma and Megan Auzenburgs with a time of 4:08.53. The team of Eva Schulteis, Maggie Storm, Shanshan Heh and Hannah Bunkin took third place at 4:414.78.
The Lady Blue Jays followed that with a stellar performance in 1000 Freestyle Relay by sweeping the top three spots. Kylie Ternes, Daniela Villegas, Kristen Ferriero and Ellen Marcus combined for a time of 10:21.92 to win by nearly seven seconds. Hopkins also dominated in the 400 IM Relay, claiming first through third place.
In the 200 Free Kick Relay, Yau, Schulteis, Alex Ladd and Sean McGrath took first with a time of 2:27.29. In the 300 Butterfly Relay, Auzenburgs, Kitayama, Nicole Wain and Jeanne Banky clocked in at 3:02.12 to take the top position. Bunkin, Marcus, Fox and Kitayama won the 300 Backstroke Relay in impressive fashion, clocking in at 2:51.58 to win by more than 10 seconds.
Fox, Cusumano, King and Storm finished in 3:30.83 to win the 300 Breaststroke Relay. In the 500 Freestyle Relay, it was Ternes, Bunkin, Marcus and Eleanor Gardner combining for the win with a time of 4:44.21. Kitayama, Cusumano, Holden and Auzenburgs took the 200 Medley Relay with a time of 1:51.88. Hopkins then closed out the day with the 200 Yard Relay as Storm, Rinsma, Cusumano and Ladd won with a time of 2:59.45 to best the Profs' team by more than 12 seconds.
Benn explained that this efficient performance was a result of hard work and long hours, “We started training Sept. 24. Most people do 2-3 double practices a week, and we practice six days a week. We lift 3 times per week. It’s definitely a big commitment but we believe our training routine is why we’re currently ranked so well.”
With their high ranking and persistant effort, the Hopkins swimmers have their minds set to achieve even more than last year. According to Benn, “our goal is to try to get as many people to qualify for nationals and then place in the top five.”
Both Hopkins men’s and women’s swimming teams are scheduled to take on the Franklin & Marshall Diplomats on Saturday, Oct. 27. The start time is slated at 11 a.m. in the Newton White Athletic Center.