After a frenzied three days, the Georgetown swimming and diving team came away from the Northeast Conference Championship meet with one first-place team finish and 10 new school records under its belt.

The men’s team won the meet for the second year in a row, beating out four other teams for the honor, while the women’s team finished fourth in a 13-team field.

The Hoyas were also looking beyond the NEC to the East Coast Athletic Conference championships, which will take place this weekend in Pittsburgh, Pa. Nineteen Hoya swimmers and divers qualified, making up one of the largest contingents in recent years.

The men completely dominated the weekend, winning 16 of 20 events. Aside from winning the entire meet, they also swept the individual awards. Senior captain Kevin Walsh was named the en’s Outstanding Swimmer in his final NEC appearance. He will pass the torch to freshmen Mike Turchiano and Chris Ball, who were the Men’s Co-Rookies of the Meet. Junior Doug Curran captured the Men’s Outstanding Diver award as he won both the 1-meter and 3-meter events.

The men’s team is heavily weighted with seniors, and all of them had strong performances.

Walsh was a three-time winner in the 400-yard IM, 200-yard backstroke and 200-yard butterfly, all with ECAC-qualifying times. Senior Peter Nguyen won the 100-yard breaststroke and the 200-yard breaststroke in an ECAC-qualifying time of 2:15.04.

Other seniors traveling to ECACs for individual events are Brad Perez, whose second place time of 2:00.36 in the 200-yard fly earned him a spot, and Mike Bayer who qualified in both the 50-yard freestyle (21.80) and the 100-yard butterfly (53.16).

Also qualifying were freshman Chris Ball in both the 200- and 500-yard freestyle, junior Heath Walden in the 200-yard backstroke and junior Jon Hayden in the 200-, 500- and 1650-yard freestyle. Hayden swam the first 1000 yards of the 1650 in 9:50.77, which broke the school record of 9:50.86 which was set in 1990.

Breaking Georgetown records was a theme for the women as they bested nine standing school times on the weekend. Junior Katie Amaro broke records for her third consecutive year at the NECs. This time she bested three of her own records in the 200-yard freestyle (1:53.04), 500-yard freestyle (4:59.47) and the 1000-yard freestyle (10:29.31). Her time in the 500 was over a four-second improvement on her previous time.

Sophomore Laura Sytnyk also broke her own record in the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 2:10.14. Two freshmen, Caitlin Colling and Kelcey Moore, also got their names in the record books. Colling broke the record in the 200-yard IM in a time of 2:08.01 and Moore broke the 1-meter diving record with a 246.50 score, besting Juliana Bonilla’s (COL `04) 2001 score of 245.30.

The women also had three record-breaking relay times in the 400-yard freestyle, 800-yard freestyle and 200-yard medley.

The entire group of Hoyas had an outstanding weekend beyond the record-breaking times and qualifying swims. Head Coach Bethany Bower said that sophomore Jenni Zocca and junior Pati Notario are swimmers who exceeded even their own personal expectations.

“Over 80 percent of our swimmers achieved some kind of personal best, and that’s really what it’s all about,” she said.

That rings particularly true for the women’s team. They have swum well all year long but ran up against stiff competition this past weekend, denying them of some of their typical first-place finishes. Bower, however, says that she likes the competition and thinks that it is a good level for her team to be swimming.

“The girls that come back to swim in finals are the ones who should be there,” the coach said.

This weekend it will be the men’s turn to stare down the tough swimmers, as the ECAC meet promises to provide more challenging competition than the men found at NECs. Ivy League schools will be sending their “B-teams” – the swimmers who could not go to league championships because of number restrictions. Bower expects her team to rise to the challenge.

“I think the guys would prefer a little more competition,” Bower said.

The NECs marked the end of the 2004-05 season for the collective swimming and diving team, a season which Bower calls “the year that just worked.”

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