Women's Swim
(Photo by Lee Ferris, Mount Saint Mary College)

by Victoria Wresilo

The Mount Saint Mary College swim team broke 10 records with their performances at the Metropolitan Conference Championships at Rutgers University.

The women’s team had earlier come in first at Skyline Championships; the men’s team came in second, and both teams advanced to a meet the team calls “Metros” for a taste of more competition.

The Metropolitan Conference Championships is a three-day preliminary competition, much like the Olympics. Swimmers have to swim their event and place within the top 24 to advance.

“It’s tough right now because we’re building as a program, so we dominate at Skylines,” Head Coach Danielle Lindner said.

That’s the whole reason they go to Metros in the first place.

“As a team, we improved a lot this year. I had Division I and Division II coaches telling me they were impressed,” Lindner said. “The whole team really did well, some outstanding times were swam by Lauren Becerra,” she said.

Becerra broke three individual records in the 200, 500 and 1650 freestyle. She also was part of three record breaking relays. Of the 10 records broken this year, Becerra broke 6. She swam well, but wants to do even better next year.

“I’m hoping to train a lot more in the off season so I will improve at the beginning of next year’s season,” said Becerra. “It’s our biggest meet of the season because it’s the last one and it’s the most competitive,” she said of the Metros.

Any team can pay a fee to compete within the Metropolitan meet, which boasts a lot of competition; Division I, Division II and Division III athletes come from many different schools. The Mount’s competition included: University of Bridgeport, College of New Jersey, and Southern Connecticut State University. The women’s team placed 14th out of 19 teams this year and the men’s team placed 15th out of 18 teams—both improvements from last year’s Metropolitan meet.

There were about 500 swimmers competing at this year’s meet, so to come in the top 24 for any event is a big accomplishment.

“Next year I would like to see both teams winning Skylines,” said Lindner. “I want us to become more competitive within the Division III community.”

This will require more training in the future and definitely a lot of recruitment.

“Danielle is really trying to build a better program and recruiting a lot to make our team much bigger and more in depth in every event and stroke,” said Becerra.

Lindner, was very pleased with the team’s performance, though. She said, “I am very proud of our team, I know I’m an intense and very hard coach, but they continue to impress me. We are going to be a force to be reckoned with within the next five years and I’m excited about next year,” said Lindner.