The men’s swimming team kicked off their season this past Saturday in a dual meet against Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. The team this season consists of both experienced veterans and potential all-star newcomers.
Facing the defending Liberty League Champions, the Yellowjackets lost to RPI in a final score, 93-148, despite several individual successes of the team.
“The RPI men’s team was very difficult to go against,” freshman Bruce Maki said. “The [defending champions] have a lot of depth in most events.”
Maki garnered first-place wins in both the 500-yard and 1,000-yard freestyles with times of 4:58.49 and 10:10.61, respectively.
Sophomore Zachary Freed came in a close second to Maki in both competitions, clocking 4:59.12 in the 500-yard free and 10:20.28 in the 1,000-yard free.
“Going into the meet, I really wanted to regain a feel for competition and pacing in my distance events,” Maki said. “I think I did that. I was really excited that I was able to swim so fast so early in the season.”
Sophomore Max Mikel-Stites won the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 26.56.
Junior Craig Matt grabbed first place in the 100-yard backstroke at 58.12, 0.10 seconds ahead of freshman Ryan White.
In the 400-yard medley relay, the UR crew consisting of White, Matt, sophomore Jonathon Dennison and junior Anthony Furstoss placed a close second at 3:47.85, trailing one RPI team by only 0.34 seconds.
Dennison captured second place finishes in the 200-yard individual medley and the 100-yard free with times of 2:05.44 and 51.28, respectively. Freshman Michael Hoffman also placed second in the 200-yard free at 1:52.85 and 100-yard breaststroke at 1:04.18. White just fell short in the 100 back at 58.28.
The team, however, was not able to garner enough points to defeat RPI. RPI made crucial wins in the 100-yard breast and the 400-yard free relay.
Maki thought that the team swam well, nevertheless.
“We were able to win or place in most events, so it was good that we were able to keep them on their toes,” Maki said. “I think that they were expecting an easy win, so, even though we lost, the fact that we challenged them to the extent in which we did was a victory in itself.”
Dennison saw a dramatic improvement in the team from last year.
“We had a lot of good swims and a lot of people really stepped up their game for a good showing,” Dennison said.
Lee can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org