On Oct. 16, the Monmouth University men and women’s swim team opened their season at their home facility, the Steadman Natatorium, against the Fairfield University Stags; the men won 160 to 102 and the women lost 136 to 126.
Head Coach Matt Nunnally noted, “I think it was an exciting day for the swimming program to have fans back in the stands and to compete against a conference opponent and a strong opponent like Fairfield.”
“The women took the defending conference champions down to the final relay and the men made a good statement of where we want to be in the conference and where we expect to be at the end of the season.”
The meet had many collegiate debuts for many of the new team members, including Alexa Houseknecht, Jensen Ritter, Ashley Jean, Gracie Preslar, Corinne Pepper.
For the men’s team, new members included Dean Beyer, Duncan Collins, Noah Ferker, Leo Fricker and Sam Poching who all competed for the first time.
Freshman Georgia Watkins, in her collegiate debut, broke the school’s records in the 1000-meter freestyle and the 200-meter butterfly, swimming 10:49 and 2:07.93. In addition, Junior Alexandra Ho won both the 50 and the 100-meter freestyle.
Sophomore Sean Cook won his second career race which was the 100-meter breaststroke. Junior Dylan Edge won the 200 butterfly, making that his fourteenth individual victory.
The team also had a strong showing in the relay events. In the 200-yard medley, senior Camryn McHugh, Alexa Houseknecht, Jensen Ritter, and Alexandra Ho won the race in 1:49.19.
For the men’s side, in the 400-yard freestyle relay, juniors Cole Dyson and Thomas From, senior Blake Reynolds, and Freshman Sam Poching won with a time of 3:14.10.
Head Coach Nunnally concluded, “I thought the team did a really good job in terms of its energy, mindset and approach. There was a lot of enthusiasm and excitement and today is definitely something to build on as we move forward.”
Following the meet, senior Callan Smith was awarded as the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) men’s swimmer of the week. Smith won individual titles in the 100 backstroke, the 200 backstroke, and 100 butterfly.
Almost a week later on October 22, the team traveled to Fordham University in the Bronx. Both the men and women’s team lost to the Rams. The men’s team trailed 111 to 169 while the women’s team, 176 to 96.
“Tonight, was a big step forward in the level of competition that we’ve seen so far this year and I thought the team reacted well. I thought they fought hard, gave great effort and performed well,” said Head Coach Nunnally.
He continued, “I think we have a lot of things to work on but overall I am happy with the direction of the team and we are looking forward to continuing our progress.”
Cole Dyson had two personal best times, winning the 200 freestyle in 1:44.22 and the 500 freestyle in 4:44.22. Dean Beyer also had an exciting race, winning his first collegiate career race in the 1000-meter freestyle.
Maggie McMillan also won her first race, finishing the 400-yard individual medley (IM) with a time of 4:55.18. The women’s team, which consisted of Alexandra Ho, Junior Katie Parker, Camryn McHugh, and Corrine Pepper also won the 200-yard freestyle relay with a time of 1:41.25.
In diving, Fordham’s men’s team scored eighteen additional points and on the women’s side, sixteen additional points.
Up next, the Hawks will compete against the Seton Hall Pirates at 1pm on Sunday, Oct. 30.