Contributed Photo

With the swimming and diving season in full swing, the Stags are starting to learn their identity as a team.

One of the key pieces thus far has been the phenomenal performances turned in by the freshman from Red Bank, New Jersey, Tyler Conley.

“I’m loving it so far, I would have to say,” said Conley. “I am making a lot of friends. It is a tight team, really good camaraderie.”

Conley has been a huge addition to the men’s team, and it did not take long for him to make a splash.

In Conley’s first collegiate meet against Holy Cross, Tyler set two program records. In the 50 meter freestyle, Conley clocked in at 24.02 seconds, breaking current Stag Paul Bimmler’s previous record of 24.16 set last season.

Later in the meet, the freshman turned in another record setting performance, clocking in at 53.64 seconds in the 100 meter freestyle.

“That was cool. It was pretty surreal,” said Conley.

Although Conley produced a brilliant first performance, he still had a classic case of the freshman jitters.

“I was pretty scared [at] my first meet, I am not going to lie,” Conley said with a smile. “It was intimidating going into a D1 college and everything. I’ve been working pretty hard over the summer, and pretty hard in practice and I guess it showed off. I am pretty excited about that.”

Not only is Conley one of the Stags’ best swimmers, he also undergoes the rigors of being an engineering major, a field that makes sure Tyler is busy when he is not practicing two times a day.

“I usually wake up from morning practice, go to breakfast, and then I will be up and ready to start my homework,” said Conley. “Then I will go to class, go to practice, and then redo my homework.”

As a freshman, adjusting to the rigors and challenges that the courses at Fairfield University provide is rarely easy. Doing it as a swimmer and an engineer is even more impressive.

“School work itself is a very big adjustment from my high school, but the practices are just about up to the caliber we were working at my high school, except not twice a day, so I am used to that,” said Conley.

The Stags are off to a 2-3 start, defeating Holy Cross and Southern Connecticut State, while dropping meets to Central Connecticut State, Fordham, and conference foe, Manhattan.

Fairfield still has five more meets left on the schedule, as well as an early January training trip to Hawaii before they embark on the MAAC Championships.

“Coach Farley is mainly just worried about MAACs” said Conley.  “We are working hard everyday and training for MAACs. That’s the one big race.”

“He’s of course worried about our record, but mainly MAACs,” added Conley.

Last season, Fairfield’s men’s swimming and diving took 8th place up in Buffalo. The Stags only lost three seniors from last year’s squad and brought in eight freshman that add to an already stacked roster.

“I hope we do well. I would love to get second place at MAACs as a team that would be great.,” said Conley.  “I think we can absolutely do it too, with the freshman class, we’re a pretty strong freshman class, not to mention all the others.”

With all the talent returning, and new pieces in place for Fairfield including Conley, there is no reason to think that the time is not now for the Stags to be an upper echelon team in the MAAC.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.