Eleven days ago, wins were had, records fell, and it appeared that, despite a collective setback to Iona and Loyola (Md.), swimming and diving’s strong individual showings meant there was no stopping them en route to this weekend’s upcoming Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Championships in Baltimore.
Except for maybe mother nature.
Still, while inclement weather will delay the outset of this year’s conference championship meet, it’ll be next to impossible to stall the Stags from making a statement at the Loyola Aquatic Center this Saturday.
In fact, in the team’s most recent meet against the Greyhounds and Iona, Fairfield set seven program records, a nice compliment to the myriad of other individual wins and personal bests.
Conference officials were among those whose heads were turned by the strong outing, as evident in their selection of freshman butterfly specialist Cacky Keating as the MAAC swimmer of the week. Keating set program records in the 100-meter and 200-meter fly. She was also was one of the swimmers in two record-setting relays – the 200-meter medley relay and the 400-meter free relay.
Keating, though, was far from the only leg of the relay joining in on the festivities. Sophomore Michelle Yoshida continued an impressive follow-up to her remarkable freshman year campaign (Yoshida set fourteen program records a season ago) with a program-best in the 200-meter freestyle.
The men’s team followed in suit with strong showings in relay events. Senior Boris Romanovsky, a team captain, and freshman Paul Bimmler, who, like Keating, was a freshman MAAC Swimmer of the Week this this season, were two legs in the men’s record-setting 400-meter freestyle relay. The relay, which included sophomores Andrew Robinson and Greg Bellizzi, topped its previous top time by eight tenths of a second.
Bimmler, primarily a sprinter, secured victories in the 100-meter freestyle — another of Fairfield’s record-setting performances — and the 50-meter freestyle, while relay mate Romanovsky finished fourth in the 100-meter backstroke.
Two of Romanovsky’s fellow seniors — divers Taylor Stecko and Hillary Urbancic — also enter the MAAC Championships with added momentum, thanks in part to a pair of victories (1-meter and 3-meter).
If the Stags are to achieve big things in Maryland, it will likely be with the added spark of Stecko and the team’s other senior captains.
“The captains work as hard as anyone on the team,” head coach Bill Farley said earlier this season. “You’re getting really great leadership in the water and out of the water.”