With the beginning of the swim season finally underway, the swim team has a lot to look forward to despite their unfortunate loss against Florida Southern in their opening home meet. The meet began well for the Spartans, with a first place win for the men in the 200 Medley Relay race. Juniors Jordan Augier and Martin Hammer, freshman Wayne Denswil, and senior Khalid Aldaboos comprised the team that finished the race with a time of 1:33.94. Denswil also went on to win the 100 Breast and 200 IM with times of 58.88 and 1:54.74 respectively in this freshman’s first meet of his college career. Aldaboos also went on to win both the 50 Freestyle and 100 Fly with times of 21.20 and 51.25. Another Spartan win was chalked up for junior Runar Borgen who was able to claim first in the 100 Free with a time of 47.10. The UT men also went on to place first in the last race of the meet, finishing with a time of 1:24.22 in the 200 Free Relay. Along with Aldaboos, juniors Hammer, Augier and Jeremy Parker also finished the relay race.
On the women’s side, the Spartans were able to take the top three finishing spots in the 200 Fly, with a first place victory by freshman Sophie Long finishing with a time of 2:11.51. She was followed by freshman Charissa Venice (2:13.69) and Paige Dunham (2:14.14) as they took second and third place for the Spartans. The UT women were then able to take another top three places in the 100 Fly, led again by Long with a time of 59:19. Long was followed up by senior Emily Grams (59.70) and Dunham (1:01.40). Then, Long went on to claim her third first-place performance as she won the 200 IM, finishing with a time of 2:10.78. The swim team was able to claim a another first-place victory in the final event of the evening, the 200 Free Relay. The team comprised of senior Erin Plachy, sophomore Marisa Barton, freshman Noel Styer along with Grams who finished with a time of 2:10.78.
However, despite the Spartans best efforts, Florida Southern snatched the victory over the Spartans with a close total score of 134-128 on the men’s side and a score of 157.5 to 104.5 on the women’s side. With the Spartans holding their own against last year’s NCAA runner-ups, the rest of the season is still up in the air. With their next meet against Saint Leo a few weeks away and the Nova Southeastern Invitational looming on the horizon, the Spartans have ample time to prepare for future wins.
“We were quite pleased on the men’s side. It’s always more fun to win, but six pints down to last year’s NCAA runner-up is not an embarrassment. The ladies were not as competitive but that’s a work in progress, they will be much better as the season progresses. What needs to improve is our health. In 45 years of coaching I’ve never had so many athletes sick,” said head coach Ed Brennan.
The future of the Spartans seems dead set on the Nova Invitational coming up in December and Sunshine State Conference Championships in February. While the importance of dual meets can never be underestimated, they are but a warm up for the major meets in December, February and March against Rollins, St.Leo, and Boston College.
“Our preparation is for the Nova Invitational in December and our conference meet in February. Dual meets are a measurement along the way to gage our training progress. St. Leo has beaten our men in dual competition several times in the past few years. It’s a very competitive conference, it doesn’t take a lot to get up for a dual meet,” said Brennan.
Grant Pawlak can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org