Marywood swim teams dive in for a championship run


Dave Scarnato, Sports Co-Editor

The Marywood swimming and dive program is coming off their inaugural campaign. Last year, the program did well for itself for the first time. But this year, the Pacers are ready to prove that they are contenders.

The Pacers now have a home pool, as well as a new conference. The program will belong to the Landmark Conference, swimming against schools like The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., Drew University, Goucher College, Juniata College, The University of Scranton, Susquehanna University, and the United States Merchant Marine Academy. The Pacers will also play host to the Landmark Conference finals in February to welcome their fellow conference opponents.

With the new Aquatics Center finally up and running, the Pacers now have a true home pool, omitting the travel to the local pools for practice. Senior major Diana Young said that this will make the team compete better.

“Finally we have a place that we can call home,” Young said. “The inconvenience of traveling is now gone, so we don’t have to waste extra time taking vans to pools. We can also get more work done on our own time, helping us work on individual as well as team goals. It has definitely been easier, and the facility is beautiful.”

The women’s swim and dive team looks to improve from last year’s inaugural season, where they finished 5-9. Young is confident that the women’s program will be just fine in 2011-12.

“I think we have what it takes to do well this year,” she said. “Everyone prepared well in the off season, and it shows in practice. The freshman class has showed that they have what it takes to help us win this year.”

The freshman class includes Catherine Anlas, Katherine Ciszek, Emma Fritzinger, Molly Hitesman, Olivia Hower, Kristen Vitale, and Heather Wimmer.

The men’s swim and dive team also hopes to improve on their 4-8 record from last year. This season, the Pacers brought in freshmen Andy Blevins, Alex Martino, Anthony Pisano, Justin Verran, and James Weber to begin their student athlete careers. Sophomore Biotechnology student Mike Legath said he believes that this year will be special for Marywood swimming and diving.

“We want to go out there this year and show the school and conference that we mean business,” said Legath. “Last year, as a first-year team, we won many races we were expected to lose. So far this year, we came out strong and are showing all the teams that we are a force to be reckoned with.”

Greg Brown enters his second year at the helm of both programs. Conference play opens up for the men’s team on December 3, while the women’s team already competed in conference play against Juniata College, a 117-87 loss. Both teams will travel to Virginia in November, participating in the Randolph Macon Tournament.