Senior Night for Swimming and Diving brought the regular season to a bittersweet ending on Friday with two losses to SUNY Geneseo. The men’s team lost 163–134, while the women’s team suffered a more considerable defeat, 196–104.
Prior to the meet, the seniors from each team (five women and six men) were honored for their commitment to the school, the sport, and the team.
The meet was marked with contrast. The mechanical voice of the announcer overlaid the splashing of swimmers. A sport dominated by individual races began with a massive huddle and excited chant from the whole team. Support and encouragement flowed from the side of the pool and the gallery above where friends and family packed the small bleachers. First-years had breakout performances as seniors took their last bows.
Despite the losses, two divers set new school records. First-year Sophie Lever broke an 11-dive record on the 1-meter board that had stood for five years (a cumulative score is awarded from 11 dives). Senior Stephen Stavchik also broke a school record on the 3-meter board that had stood since 1986. Lever’s effort earned her only a third place finish, but still qualifies her for a trip to the Zone Championships in February.
Another first-year, Jose Corredor Alvarez, took a narrow victory in the 1,650-yard freestyle race. His lead began at eight-tenths of a second in the first lap, and stretched to nearly five seconds by the end of the nearly mile-long event. His other win came in the 500-yard freestyle, with a margin barely more than a quarter-second.
Even though his career ended on a loss, senior Eric Albuquerque had only positive memories of his time on the team. “[One] thing that drew me to this team was the atmosphere.” Albuquerque described the team as committed to both academics and training, and enjoying both. “If anything it’s stronger now [four years later] because we’re closer with each other.”
Fellow seniors Eric Sondheim and Erica Hughes posted two wins each in their final home meet. The first came as a member of the 200-yard freestyle relay team, and the second in the individual 200-yard freestyle event. Hughes pushed ahead to strong wins in both the 100 and 200-yard backstroke events for the women.
Reflecting on his run, Albaquerque said, “It’s been an honor and a pleasure to do everything I have done with the team and for the team.”