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

Hoyas’ Fall Season Gets Underway

With winter approaching and the temperature dropping, the last thing a Georgetown student wants to do is put on a bathing suit and jump in a pool. But for the Georgetown swimming and diving team, this marks the exciting beginning of the season. The H2OYAS bravely gear up to start their season tonight at the Potomac Relay Invite, where they will face former Big East rival Boston College.

The return of Head Coach Bethany Bower, now entering her 12th season, bodes well for Hoya swimming. Last season, the men’s swimming team won a second-consecutive Northeast Conference Championship while the women placed fourth. In the ECAC Championships the teams finished 16th and seventh, respectively.

The diving program will look to new coach Eric Wagner, a George Washington graduate who is entering his first year as an NCAA coach. While at GW, Wagner posted an impressive record, winning Atlantic-10 Conference Diver of the Year in 1993 and setting the record for the three-meter springboard.

The men’s swimming team will look to senior co-captains Jon Hayden and Heath Walden, two Georgetown record-holders who are critical to the team’s success.

Hayden holds the records in the 1,000m and 1,650m freestyle events and “will continue to be our go-to guy in the distance events,” Bower said. “Jon leads by example with tremendous hard work, always going the extra distance to succeed.”

Walden holds the school record in the 100m backstroke and is a very versatile swimmer capable of participating in several events.

Although the Hoyas will sorely miss captains Kevin Walsh (COL ’05) and Brendan Griffin (MSB ’05), sophomores Michael Turchiano and Chris Ball hope to step up. Turchiano and Ball were named Co-Rookies of the Northeast Conference Championship meet.

In order to balance the loss of nine men to graduation, the Hoyas will bring in 10 freshmen, giving the team “the much needed depth in many different events,” Bower said. The return of eight seniors and three sophomores will bring experience to the roster.

Seniors Doug Curran and Santini Reali will lead the men’s diving team, which is rounded out by freshmen Michael McWilliams and Scott McCord.

Last season, the men’s team finished with an overall 5-4 dual meet record.

On the women’s side the Hoyas are pleased to return senior co-captains Corie Rhodes and Katie Amaro. Amaro holds four individual school records: the 200-, 500-, 1000- and 1650-yard freestyles. Additionally, Amaro has broken the 200 and 500 records each year.

Rhodes, the top returning breaststroker, swam a crucial leg in two separate record-setting relays last year.

“Corie was a co-captain last season and has shown great leadership in and out of the pool,” Bower said.

The Hoyas will also look to sophomore Caitlin Colling, one of the team’s top sprinters. As a freshman, Colling set a record in the 200 individual medley and was part of three record-setting relays. This year, she aims to break the Georgetown records in both the 50 and 100 freestyle, feats she came within seconds of achieving last year.

Juniors Laura Sytnyk and Claire Nugent have been nicknamed the “butterfly dynamic duo,” a reference to last year’s NEC and ECAC Championships. During the 200 fly at both competitions Nugent broke the Georgetown record in the first heat only to have Sytnyk break her new record in the following heat.

“They will be a nice 1-2 punch in both the 100 and 200 fly events in dual meets,” Bower said.

The women also carry six freshmen and return nine upperclassmen. “[The] freshmen will challenge for top spots on our team, but they will need to get by an extremely talented senior class,” Bower said.

The women’s diving team will carry two sophomores, Kelcey oore and Katie Oldham, and two freshmen, Jessica Rettig and Bella Schori. Although the Hoya divers lack experience, the young team is extremely talented.

After losing only two seniors to graduation, last year’s impressive dual meet record of 8-3 speaks volumes about the 2005-06 women’s squad.

On Saturday, immediately following their first meet, the Hoyas face Boston College at home. Last year, the Eagles’ men’s squad finished eighth at the Big East championships and seventh at the ECAC Championships. The Georgetown women face an even tougher challenge: BC won the ECAC Championships last season and only graduated five seniors.

This season, Georgetown will play host to seven meets at the cCarthy swimming pool, facing the Virginia Military Institute, Radford, Howard, American, Drexel and Lafayette. In addition, the Hoyas will compete against Delaware, Loyola (Md.), Fairfield and the William and Mary.

At the end of the season, the Hoyas will compete at the Patriot Invite held at George Mason. Here, they aspire to qualify several exceptional swimmers for the Big East Championships.

The Big East and Northeast Conference championships will take place Feb.15-18, followed immediately by the ECAC championships Feb. 24-26. On March 9, the Hoyas hope to compete in the NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Swim Championships and the NCAA Zone Diving competitions.

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