Swimming and diving team prepare for league championship

The Lafayette swim team competed in the Navy Invitational at Lejeune Hall on Jan. 27. While no team scoring was kept for the event, many Leopards individually placed in the top 10 in a variety of races, a feat freshman David Witmer attributes to the team’s intense training program.

Witmer placed fourth in the men’s 100 breaststroke with a time of 59.38, followed shortly thereafter by freshman Matt Tascione, who finished in fifth with a time of 1:01.47.

“The swim and dive team has been doing really intense training this year,” Tascione wrote in an email. “For most of January we had double practices, and we didn’t back off on our training when it was coming time to compete. This meet was a good opportunity for me to race events that I wouldn’t normally compete with in our dual meet season.”

“For the 100 breaststroke specifically, my endurance really helped me maintain a strong tempo all the way through the race. I’m very happy with my time and place considering that I was racing tired.”

Other top 10 finishes in the men’s events included freshman Tyler Sande (ninth in 400 IM with a time of 4:24.62), sophomore Bryce Currie (eighth in 200 freestyle with a time of 1:47.71), junior James Grieb (ninth in 100 backstroke with a time of 55.31) and senior Xavier Laracuente (10th in 50 free with a time of 22.37).

A relay team consisting of senior Keeley Scott, freshman Casey Goodwin, senior Natalie Grune and senior Lauren Hazard finished third in the women’s 200 medley relay with a time of 1:33.27. Senior Allie McBrearty women’s 100 backstroke, clocking in at 1:02.17. Rounding off those who finished in the top-10, junior Kara Rosenthal finished eighth in the 200 butterfly with a time of 2:19.82, while freshman Emma Piascik came in seventh in the 100 breast with a time of 1:09.55 and eighth in the 200 breast with a time of 2:34.98.

“To prepare for the Navy Invite, I tapered for 10 days after finishing our training trip in Florida where we swam twice a day along with dryland,” Piascik wrote in an email. “I felt very well prepared for the meet and was excited about my performance in the 100 and the 200 breast… I think the atmosphere on the pool deck allowed me to perform better. My teammates were incredibly supportive. The whole team was cheering the entire time which was really exciting and encouraging.”

Piascik will not be attending the Patriot League Championship; however, she looks forward to hearing about her teammates’ performances. “I am really excited to see how my teammates do, they all have been working incredibly hard!” Piascik wrote.

This was the final prep meet before the Patriot League Championship, which will take place on Feb. 13-17 at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD.

“Now that we’ve hit championship season, it’s more of a time to do fine-tuning so I will spend a lot of time working on technique and starts and turns,” Tascione wrote. “I hope to see myself compete in a final at the Patriot League championship and if I can continue working hard and going after the small technical pieces, I know I can.”

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