Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

New Training Regiment Boosts Big East Qualifiers

With stronger muscles and newly-found energy, Georgetown took on defending men’s Big East champion West Virginia this weekend in McCarthy Pool. And while both the men’s and women’s squads fell to the Mountaineers, first-year Head Coach Steven Cartwright believes his team is strokes ahead of where it was last year.

“I think you need to look at a year ago at this time we only had five Big East [qualifying times],” he said. “Right now we have 24. I’m very pleased. It’s setting us up for some fast swimming.”

The men lost 143-88 and the women dropped 161-80. Both teams are still winless on the season, but for now, swimmers are focused on meeting Big East and ECAC championship meet qualifying times, not team win-loss records.

Saturday, Georgetown locked up 11 more qualifying times, five in the Big East and six in the ECAC. Sophomore Laura Stark led the squad, earning two Big East qualifying times. She took second in the 400-yard individual medley with a time of 4:39.42. West Virginia’s Tina Grabrillo took first, winning the event by nearly five seconds. Stark also snatched first in the 500yd freestyle in 5:16.79.

“The entire [women’s] team has made some incredible advances,” Cartwright said. “The team is gelling together nicely. I’m anxious to see what the ladies team is going to accomplish.”

Juniors Goran Bistric and David Ballinger led the men’s side despite Ballinger’s August surgery and ongoing recovery

Bistric qualified for both the Big East and ECAC championship meets in the 100yd butterfly. He also has tickets to those championships for his efforts in the 100yd and 200yd backstroke.

“Goran, right now, is swimming faster than he has at any point before,” Cartwright said. “The biggest thing right now is keeping him healthy.”

Ballinger, despite having surgery in August, qualified for the Big East race with a time of 56.08 in the 100yd backstroke.

Freshman Christina DiNapoli took first in the 100yd breaststroke in 1:11.81, missing a Big East qualifying time by a hair, .07 seconds.

According to Cartwright, there is a noticeable difference in the energy level of the team this season.

“When you have teammates cheering for you behind your lane, screaming and there’s that kind of noise, that’s great to see,” he said.

Along with new energy and a new coach, the team has also been met with a new workout regimen. Three days of weightlifting and two days of dry-land workouts in addition to swimming have made for a stronger team – literally.

“This season we’re training the full 20 hours a week,” Cartwright said, “I’m excited to see, later in the season, what kind of swimming that brings.”

Cartwright added that the intensity of weightlifting and other workouts have increased with respect to last year and that the team has been more excited competing and training.

Both men and women swimmers will return to the pool Saturday in Newark, Del., when they take on the University of Delaware.

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