The Lafayette men’s and women’s swim team opened their season by hosting Loyola at the Weinstein Natatorium on Saturday in their only home meet. Loyola won on both the men’s and women’s sides, with a final score of 154-144 and 211-188, respectively.
“We had a very close meet with Loyola, who usually beat us by a large margin,” senior swimmer Ryan Moore said. “I think the meet showed all the work we put in to this point. It also allowed us to showcase our freshmen class, who are really fast. The meet had a great energy, we just need to keep on training for Lehigh and Patriot League Championships.”
The meet fell on the day of Homecoming, bringing in a large crowd of parents, alumni and fans. Since this was the first and only home meet of the season, the team hosted a senior recognition ceremony prior to the start of the meet. The head coach, Jim Dailey, spoke about each senior’s accomplishments over the course of their swim careers.
“Having a lot of Lafayette fans at the meet really helped us feed off the energy. It was an exciting meet and the people in the stands were making a lot of noise,” said senior Nick Whiteman.
Some standout performances on the men’s side included freshman Tanner McFarland, who won the 1000 free (10:15.51), 500 free (4:53.55) and 200 butterfly (1:59.33). Senior Sam Haines won the 100 butterfly (52.22) and finished second in the 200 butterfly (2:01.28).
Haines also joined sophomore Bryce Currie, freshman Ethan Miller and junior Kyle Doherty on the winning 200 free relay team (1:27.46). Currie (1:47.16) and junior James Grieb (1:48.13) took first and second place in the 200 freestyle (1:47.16 and 1:48.13, respectively). In the 100 free, Grieb (48.89), Doherty (48.93) and Currie (48.98) finished in the top three spots. Freshman Tyler Sande won the 200 back (1:58.34) while placing third in the 100 back and 200 IM.
“I think this meet set the tone where now we are all excited to get up and race. There was a ton of enthusiasm and energy at the meet and our performance improved because of it,” Whiteman said. “We will be looking to replicate that same excitement at other meets so hopefully we see the same results.”
On the women’s side, sophomore Anne Marie Mozrall won the 50 free (25.42), claiming the only win for the Leopards on the women’s side. Senior Sydney Wight (100 free in 56.01), junior Alexa Overeem (200 breast in 2:32.44), senior Noelle Buckley (100 breast in 1:09.22) and sophomore Maureen McShane (500 free in 5:21.10) all finished second in their events. In the women’s 100 backstroke, junior Faye Melekos and senior Allie McBrearty took second and third place (1:01.15 and 1:03.28, respectively).
“We have definitely come a long way from where we were last year,” senior Bri Dacey said. “Everyone seems to have a lot more energy and a stronger drive to be competitive. Those are our biggest strengths going into the rest of the season. We all definitely have more work to do in regards to all of our individual times but that is as expected and will definitely improve.”