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

GU Starts Season With High Hopes After Last Season’s Successes

Last season, Georgetown qualified 20 swimmers for the Big East championships. In 2004, the team qualified zero swimmers. Swimming and diving Head Coach Bethany Bower and the Georgetown squad will attempt to build on its achievements this winter and surpass last year’s surprising results.

Last season, the Hoyas set seven new school records, qualified 20 swimmers for the Big East championships and sent four to the Eastern College Athletic Conference championships. Exactly as they have every year since Bower began coaching in 1994, both the men’s and women’s teams earned academic all-American status.

Graduation took a heavy toll on the team which lost 13 swimmers, including last year’s co-captains Katie Amaro (COL ’06) and John Hayden (COL ’06). Amaro holds four school records for freestyle events and was a member of two school-record-setting relay teams, while Hayden holds the school records for the 1000-meter and 1600m freestyle events.

Divers Doug Curran (SFS ’06) and Santini Reali (COL ’06) will be critical losses for the Hoyas on the diving board.

Contributions from a talented and hard-working freshmen class should offset the losses, according to Bower.

“There is a great blend of talent and experience between the old team and the new team,” Bower said. “The team looks solid from top to bottom.”

Bower said that the team hopes to qualify over 80 percent of its members for the Big East championships, 31 swimmers.. Although the men’s team is small (12 swimmers and a sole diver), she is confident in both the men’s and women’s capabilities.

Leading the women’s team this winter will be seniors Liz Nugent, Jennifer Zocca and Laura Sytnyk. Nugent was part of a school-record-breaking 200m medley relay. Sytnyk holds a record in the 200m butterfly and is also a top competitor in the 400m individual medley.

Sophomores David Ballinger and Daniel Robinson, both of whom qualified for the Big East championships last year, will lead the men’s team.

Other key assets this season include junior freestyle swimmer Tory Maffey, sophomore backstroke specialist Goran Bistric, sophomore diver Jessica Rettig, who qualified for Big East championships last year, and junior diver Katie Oldham. Bistric broke school records in the 100m and 200m backstroke in his first year of collegiate swimming.

This season will bring a crosstown rivalry to McCarthy Pool, where Georgetown will face George Washington in a dual meet for the first time in 15 years. The schedule will also include three additional Big East meets against Seton Hall, Villanova and West Virginia.

The Hoyas kick off their season today at 5 p.m. with the Potomac Relays at American University.

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