Cortland, NY — The State University of New York at New Paltz Swimming team opened up its meet season by traveling to SUNY Cortland for the Pumpkin Relays Oct. 26.
The Hawks men’s team posted a third-place finish with 237 points, trailing SUNY Cortland (306 points) and Nazareth College (324 points), while the women’s team came in fourth-place with 217 points, trailing Adelphi University (240 points), Nazareth College (314 points) and SUNY Cortland (350 points) .
The Hawks men’s side posted three second place finishes in some close battles with the Golden Flyers and Red Dragons. The lone first-place finish came in the men’s 800-yard freestyle relay, which had senior Tim Stecher leading off, sophomore Ethan Bonney at second, sophomore Jared Finn third and sophomore Mitchell Chappell finishing things up to complete a time of 7 minutes, 33.54 seconds.
“Anytime we swim the 800 freestyle relay this season we need to race it with purpose because I believe we can put up some new names on the record board in that event at the end of the year,” said SUNY New Paltz coach Tom Eickelberg.
The women’s team also enjoyed some success as they finished with several third place finishes across the board and a first place finish in the 3×100 yard backstroke relay, which included senior Samantha Woll, senior Chelsea Angulas and junior Tessa Griger with a time of 3:08.50.
“The new girls’ roster held their own against the competition this weekend,” said co-captain Angulas. “The team kept the energy and spirits high on deck which fueled some fast swims. The performances across the board were better than expected considering how intense the practices have been the last few weeks. I’m looking forward to seeing how we progress through the season.”
The Hawks freshman class had an immediate impact on the meet as they posted some of the fastest times of the weekend. Freshman Kirsten Giovanniello split a time of 1:01.76 in her 100-yard butterfly leg on the 400 medley relay, which was the third fastest split in the event. Freshman Zac Browns (58.55) split in the 3×100-yard medley relay led all SUNY New Paltz swimmers in the event.
“The freshman on both teams really impressed coach Eickelberg and I,” said Hawks coach Matt Distler. “They all put in strong swims and brought fantastic energy and confidence into their first meet.”
In the 8×25-yard pumpkin relay, both the men’s and women’s team finished second in a hard fought battle with Nazareth College. Neither team went home empty handed though, as the top three finishers received a pumpkin.
SUNY New Paltz will host Hartwick College Nov. 2 at 1 p.m. for its home opener in Elting Pool.
Original Story by Tim Stecher, Athletic Communications Intern