Contributed by Fairfield Sports Information Desk
Although the Stags broke four different program records on Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014, both the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams fell short to Iona in their last home matchup of the season.
Going into the meet, both teams had high expectations. It was Senior Day, the last home meet of the season for the leaders of the team.
In preparation for the 2014 MAAC Championship, the teams had begun a part of their season called “tapering” which, according to Captain Kevin Greener ‘14, is when the practices get easy but the swimmers begin to swim harder since they have longer periods of rest. For the taper part of the season, it is expected that the team produce a variety of different results. However, Head Coach Bill Farley expressed his feelings of disappointment.
“I thought it would be a really close, good meet and that we should have had an opportunity to win,” stated Farley, “but we had no opportunity to win so that was a big letdown.”
Iona defeated women’s swimming and diving with a final score of 171-124. Although the team as a whole faced a loss, many of the members came out of the pool with both individual and team wins.
Senior Suzy Lawlor broke not only her personal record in the 100 breaststroke, but also the program record that she had previously set, with a final time of 1:15.92. In several other events, the Stags fell just seconds short of first place. In the 800 freestyle, Meredith LaBerge ‘15 placed second coming in at 9:37.39 with teammate Alyssa Acompora ‘15 trailing just seconds behind with a time of 9:51.61. The team placed both second and third in the 200 butterfly, with Margaret Osmulski ‘14 clocking in at 2:42.15 and Megan Kuzniewski ‘14 following right behind with a time of 2:50.81.
In both diving events for the women’s diving team, the three meter and one meter, the odds seemed to be in favor of the Stags. In the one meter event, the diving team walked away with first, second and third.
Junior Ashlee Steinberger finished the event with first place earning a final score of 228.50. Steinberger also placed first in the three meter event, posting a score of 231.35 while Leah Pawelczyk ‘17 was runner-up on the three meter board with a score of 164.55.
Going into their final meet with an overall record of 0-5, the men’s swimming and diving team was hoping to take advantage of their last opportunity to get a win up on the board.
However, Iona crushed that desire by defeating the Stags, 168-124. The meet proved to be yet another example of one of the downfalls of having one of the smaller teams in the league.
While Fairfield only has 16 members of the team, Iona had 21 which gave them the opportunity to have more swimmers participate in each event. But despite having a small team, the Stags continued to push through the meet to break personal records.
Sophomore Conor Daly walked away from the meet as the most successful swimmer, breaking three program records in the 200 butterfly (2:09.12), the 100 butterfly (58.19) and the 200 individual medley (2:11.34). Greener captured a victory in the 800 freestyle with a time of 9:05.19 while his fellow Captain Rich Traub ‘14 pulled off a first place win in the 200 breaststroke at 2:40.41.
Like the female divers, men’s diving also walked away with some impressive scores. Freshman Daniel Pires won both boards for the Stags. In the three meter, he dove to a final score of 266.00 and a 255.45 on the one meter. His teammates Evan Barr ‘15 and Brien Bates ‘14 placed second and third, respectively, in both events.
Although the swimming and diving teams were not able to get the win against Iona, they are looking forward to the next two weeks of prep for their final competition in the MAAC Championships. Although disappointed in their performance against Iona, Farley said he is hopeful that a change in routine will help accomplish the team’s goals.
“We want to be in the middle of the pack in the MAAC, but that’s gonna be hard for us to do,” said Farley. “We need to change our training in order to do that.”
For the next two weeks, the Stags will continue to train under the leadership of their seniors. If hard work, leadership and positive attitudes are present at the MAAC Championships, Feb. 13-15, the men and women’s swimming and diving team will reach their goals.