Swim Team Makes Strong Strokes

First-year Troy Kent swam at Linganore High School. His strongest events include fly and freestyle (Photo by Brendan O’Hara).
First-year Troy Kent swam at Linganore High School. His strongest events include fly and freestyle (Photo by Brendan O’Hara).

The St. Mary’s Men’s and Women’s swimming teams have had a strong start this year; both the men and women have 1-0 conference records, beating Hood on November 8th. As of November 14, overall, the men’s team has a 1-1 record and the women’s team has a 2-1 record. The teams are looking forward to their meets and according to Head Coach Andre Barbins, “building] on their success and placing] higher in the conference.”

The teams faced Hood College and Catholic University on November 8th. The women’s team won against both, while the men’s team defeated Hood and lost against Catholic. On November 14th, the Lady Hawks squared off against Randolph Macon College, but lost 129-76. This past Saturday, November 15th, both teams raced against Washington College.

The swimming teams have been working very hard with rigorous preseason training. Coach Barbins said the teams have “good work ethic” and they “started off really well.” The swimmers have also commented on the intensity of their training and their preparedness for the season.

Sophomore Nico Pinto said, “We’re doing much better than last year and we’re ready for the championship.”

The swimming team also gained several new additions. Sophomore Kalvin Day, who joined this year said, he’s “looking forward to the season” and “everyone’s been getting along real well.”  Senior women’s captain Brie McDowell said that the bigger size of the team “makes us more competitive.” Coach Barbins also commented on the strong mix of senior class leaders and new swimmers.

The teams are not only strong in the water, but they are close outside of the pool as well. Both the men’s and women’s teams get together on the weekends and convene for meals which helps keep everyone committed and strong.

Although, things are looking up for the swimming teams, the teams are always looking to develop their abilities. Barbins said he wants the teams “to continue to get better cohesively.” Pinto also said the team has to have the “commitment to improve.”

Aside from near-weekly meets, the teams are preparing for their annual training trip to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. In the beginning of January, the teams travel to Florida for a week and a half for twice a day practices, competitions and invitationals. McDowell said it’s “a lot of fun, but you definitely have to be in the right mindset.”

On November 21st the teams have a home meet with Marymount University and Gallaudet University. Coach Barbins invited everyone to come out and cheer on the swimmers.

Like her teammates, McDowell is optimistic and said, “I’m really excited for the season. I think we’re going to do really well.”

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