The Fairfield University Swimming and Diving Team wrapped up the first half of their season with a trip to East Meadow, New York to compete in the ECAC Warm-Up Open Championship.

The men’s team finished fourth in the meet, while the women finished in fifth place overall. Normally the Stags wouldn’t have gone to a “Championship” style meet in the middle of the season, but nevertheless it was a good result for the Stags.

“It was kind of surprising with the way that our coach did out the schedule … But this meet allowed us to give us kind of a dry run through a championship type meet for some of the freshman and it was awesome for a lot of people to swim fast and swim at a fast pool,” said Paul Bimmler ’13.

Senior Cackey Keating echoed Bimmler’s sentiments, saying, “I’d say overall our coach is pleased, and a lot of our swimmers were with their personal best times.”

On the first day of competition, Connor Daley ’16 finished fourth in the 400-yard IM. He finished the event with a personal best time of 4:13.92. He went on to finished fifth in the 200-yard butterfly with another personal best of 1:57.26.

Teammate Cody Parker ’14, also achieved a personal best in his sixth place finish in the 200-yard fly, with a time of 1:58.99. He also finished eighth in the 400-yard IM at 4:21.24.

“Cody Parker and Connor Daley are just absolutely fantastic. They’ve been taking this team to a whole new level. [Tyler] Conley has been outstanding too,” said Bimmler.

In the 100-yard freestyle, Conley ’15 finished 10th overall with a time of 47.59 seconds. He also paced fifth in the 50-yard freestyle, with a time of 21.49 seconds.

Conley was a member of two successful relays. In the 200-yard freestyle relay, he was placed with Parker, Bimmler, and Rich Straub ’14. The team finished fourth with a time of 1:28.17.

Bimmler, Straub, Daly and Conley combined for the 400-yard medley relay, which finished fifth with a time of 3:41.19.

In diving, Evan Barr ’15 set a personal record from the three-meter, with a score of 258.8, and also scored a 219.60 on the one-meter.

Fellow sophomore Will Sullivan set a personal record on the three-meter, receiving a score of 217.40.

On the women’s side, Keating noted several key performances in the meet, and the season as a whole.

“We have a transfer, Ariel Bond, from Texas Christian University, she’s a sophomore who has been doing great. She was injured last year too. So for getting into the water, after having not swam for a year, she’s doing pretty well,” said Keating.

In the meet this weekend, Bond finished sixth in the 500-yard freestyle with a personal best time of 5:14.19. She finished behind teammate Meredith LaBerge ’15, who finished in fourth in the event.

The personal bests were plentiful for the Stags, starting with Suzy Lawlor ’14 who finished fourth in the 200-yard breaststroke, with a time of 2:26.08.

Freshmen Kelly Mulligan, set a personal best time of 2:11.91 with an 11th place finish in the 200-yard backstroke.

Keating also had a personal best in the 500-yard freestyle, after placing twelfth with a time of 5:20.81. In the same event, four Stags also had personal best times; Alyssa Acompora ’15, Kate Ansani ’16, Megan Kuzniewski ’14, and Katherine Kraus ’15.

In diving, Ashlee Steinberger ’15 received a score of 232.20 on the one-meter platform. The score propelled her to first place finish amongst al Division 1 competitors.

She received another first place finish on the three-meter platform with a score of 229.35.

What the Stags really looked for out of the competition was a positive result for the relays.

“I think [the meet] was really good overall. [Our coach] really wanted to see our relays get faster times for our seeding for MAAC Conference,” said Keating.

Keating, LaBerge, Bond, and Margaret Osmulski ’14, swam the 800-yard freestyle relay, in a time of 7:56.40 to propel them to fourth place overall. In the 400-yard medley, the team of Suzy Lawlor ’14, Mulligan, Keating and Osmulski finished fifth with a time of 4:04.03.

Apart from the individual accomplishments, the team as a whole has grown throughout the 2012 season and Bimmler is proud of what he sees from the team.

“They look fantastic. This has been one of the best years. It’s great to have a great year when you’re a senior and everything. It’ll be good to finish on a strong note,” said Bimmler.

After losing a combination of 14 seniors between the two teams, the seniors had a good model of what was expected in terms of leadership.

“It made it easier to kind of look to what they did last year and try to emulate them this yea … and continue what they’ve been doing for four years,” said Bimmler.

The seniors and the team also have very specific goals which they are hoping to accomplish in the second half of the season.

“I mean it’s always good to have more wins than losses, but I’d say its definitely the championship meet, with getting higher place there than fifth or sixth out of all the teams there,” said Keating.

Bimmler took a more personal look at his goals for the season saying: “Just to finish well, be happy and just to do enough so that I’ll be proud about what I’ve done and be able to look back on my career very satisfied.”

With the first have of the season in the books, the Stags will now head to Hawaii for their annual winter training trip. The team is excited for the trip, while the seniors take a different approach, as it is their fourth time going on the trip.

“It’s going to just be great to go back there and kind of appreciate it more knowing that this is going to be the last time, and you’ve done this before, so you can relax a little more too,” said Bilmer.

“It’s just beautiful there, it’ll make the training a little bit easier and it really motivates everybody,” said Keating.

After the Stags return from their training trip, it will be time for them to get back to dual meet action and back on track to achieving the goals they have set out for themselves and the team as a whole.

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