The Lafayette swimming and diving teams are currently competing in the Patriot League Championships at the Naval Academy. The event, which started on Wednesday, is a four-day marathon with an array of races each day, concluding with an award ceremony and senior celebration tomorrow evening.
For the ten members of the senior class, this will be the last meet of their swimming careers. Here are some things to keep an eye on this weekend:
The Harsh Reality: Now or Never
The yearlong training is now put into action. Swimmers expect their best times at league championships so it would not be unusual for Lafayette swimmers to cut significant time off of their previous season-best performances.
Senior captain Abby Floyd-Jones, who dove on Wednesday for the last time in her 14-year career, believes that Lafayette is in excellent condition for a victorious weekend.
“The team is looking great, everybody’s looking really good, everybody’s pumped up so that’s awesome,” Floyd-Jones said. “We’re looking to break multiple school records and place in the top-16 in several events.”
Floyd-Jones acknowledged that she is looking forward to her last meet as she is “excited to embrace NARPdom,” (Non-Athletic Regular Person) but her main goal in the Patriot League Championships will be to break the seven-year 200-backstroke record in her final opportunity.
A Tale of Redemption
Sophomore standout Greg Grewal was plagued with a series of shoulder problems in the beginning of the season.
Ultimately, the breaststroker returned quickly enough in time for the annual Lafayette-Lehigh dual meet in November where he not only finished atop the podium, but smashed the 100-yard breaststroke pool record.
Grewal approached the rest of the season with his sights on achieving the NCAA “B” cut in the 100-yard breaststroke. He believes that throughout this season, he has “never worked harder before” in his life and firmly believes that his training will pay “immense dividends at this championship meet.”
Third Times a Charm
Junior Meg Kaveney is no stranger to the coveted top-16. In her rookie debut at league championships, Kaveney finished ninth in the 50-yard freestyle and then tenth the following year.
This time, though, she is searching to break the top-eight barrier. Kaveney has finished top-five in each dual meet this season and figures to be a main contributor for Lafayette this weekend.
Head coach Jim Dailey, who is in his 19th season, has his squad feeling positive and hopeful. However, they are also realists. Lafayette acknowledges it will be a hard task just to be close to longtime foe Lehigh.
Last year at Patriot League Championships, Lehigh beat the sixth-placed Lafayette women’s team by 127 points and the seventh placed men’s team by 215.5 points. The Mountain Hawks finished fifth and fourth respectively. The Naval Academy won both titles.
Dailey let his team know that he wants them to take care of what is in their control and let the other cards fall wherever they may land.
“At this point we have already done what we can,” Floyd-Jones said. “We have put the fuel in the tank and all we can hope for now is that our hard work will pay off. The plan is to be good, be fast, and trust that that will place us close to the top.”