Swimming Rookies of the Year
Kate Bell (left) and Ryan Ward (right), the Skyline Conference's Swimming Rookies of the Year. (Photo courtesy of David Spiegel, Sports Information Director, Mount Saint Mary College)

by Madison Hanlon

The Mount Saint Mary College (MSMC) swimming team is no stranger to winning Skyline Championships and this past weekend was no different. The swimming team competed at the Skyline Conference Championships at SUNY Maritime College Jan. 30 through Feb. 1, leaving with trophies, records, and memories that will last a lifetime.

The women’s team walked away with their fourth consecutive Skyline Championship and multiple record-setting times. They scored a total of 209 points, outscoring Sarah Lawrence College, whose team claimed second place with 160 points. Freshman Melissa Gulia, who broke a school record and Skyline conference record in the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 2:27.9, says “This weekend proved what a dedicated and hardworking group of girls we are, and we cannot wait to see what the future brings at the Metropolitan Championships on Feb. 20.”

Gulia was not the only swimmer to walk away with school and Skyline conference records. Junior Lauren Becerra set three new conference records in the 1,000-yard freestyle with a time of 11:12.68, the 200-yard freestyle at 2:03.61, and the 500-yard freestyle at 5:26.89. Becerra also earned her third consecutive Skyline Conference Women’s Most Outstanding Swimmer award and was named to the All-Skyline First Team. Freshman Kate Bell, who was named Skyline Conference Women’s Swimming Rookie of the Year, broke a conference record and school record in the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 2:17.96. With a time of 1:15.73, Bell, Marissa Catania, Regina Zeoli, and Danielle Rodriguez set a conference and school record in the 200-yard medley relay. Catania also walked away with a conference record in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:37.40. Allison Sciucco, Kira Adler, Rodriguez, and Becerra went out with another record in the 400-yard freestyle relay team finishing with a 3:51.29.

The men’s swimming team finished as the runner-ups for the second consecutive time at Skyline. Freshman Ryan Ward was named Skyline Conference Men’s Swimming Rookie of the Year and earned a spot on the All-Skyline first team and four Second Team positions. Ward, Jake Schoenherr, Jason Lorch, and Sam Watson broke a school record in the men’s 400-yard freestyle relay with a time of 3:25.33. The four of them earned themselves an All-Skyline Second Team position.

Coach Danielle Lindner also took home her third consecutive Skyline Conference Women’s Swimming Coach of the Year Award. Lindner’s compassion and dedication for her team is inspiring and shown in her statement that she released on her interpretation of how Skylines went, “Both the men’s and women’s team had an amazing Skyline Championships and I was honestly shocked at how fast we swam as I did not fully rest them for this meet. This makes me so excited to see what we can do at our Metropolitan Conference Championships when we are fully rested and ready to swim at our best! I am so proud of all our men and women this year, and can say that winning Coach of the Year has more to do with them and my assistant, Dan Drury, than me. The team has given me their complete trust, allowing me to push them to their limits every day, and this is why we’ve been so successful. It is their hard work ethic and dedication to this program that makes us a great team, and a great family.”

The men and women’s team will compete at the Metropolitan Championships hosted at Rutgers University starting on Feb 20. This will conclude their 2014-15 season. Best of luck to both teams!