SWIMMING & DIVING | GU Falters In First Meet of New Year
Published: Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Updated: Tuesday, January 14, 2014 01:01
In its first meet of the new year, the Georgetown swimming and diving team was swept in Virginia on Saturday. The men lost to Gardner-Webb and the women fell to James Madison.
“I don’t think we were at our sharpest, really, and that was what I kind of expected [after the break]. We haven’t raced in a while, and our team actually performed better as we went along, so that was encouraging,” Head Coach Jamie Holder said. “So I think this next week we’ll have even better races.”
The men, who lost 185-95, recorded only two first-place finishes. One came from senior Christian Kilgore, who won the 200-yard breastroke with a time of 2:13.48.
“I think [Kilgore] swam really well. He was definitely one of the top performers on the team, and I thought he did a good job. I was pretty pleased with him,” said Holder.
Freshman Martin Vanin earned the only other victory for Georgetown. Vanin won the 100-yard butterfly in 52.10 seconds.
Although the men could only secure two first-place victories, they had a couple of close second-place finishes, with junior Michael Ng less than a second behind in the 100-yard backstroke winner, and sophomore Austin Evenson placed a close second in the 1,000-yard freestyle.
After winning against Rider, the 200 -yard medley relay team, comprised of Kilgore, junior Mike Young, senior Matthew Mandel and Vanin, turned in another strong performance. The team placed second with a time of 1:37.02.
The women suffered a similar fate to that of the men. The team managed only one first-place finish and ultimately fell to James Madison 202-90.
The Blue and Gray saw promise in two swims from juniors Jillian Carter and Casey Bandman, who each placed third in their respective events.
Despite the lopsided losses for both squads, two freshmen swimmers had strong meets. Molly Gaynor and Vanin both won their 100 events. Gaynor finished third in the women’s 100-yard backstroke, while Vanin also placed third in the men’s 200-yard fly.
“They’ve been great. They’re really good racers. They work really hard, and they’re major contributors,” Holder said. “I really couldn’t be happier with how they’ve been doing.”
Vanin and Gaynor have been integral parts of this year’s teams. In Georgetown’s last meet against Rider, the duo also swept the 100-yard butterfly and fared well in their other events.
“Clearly the 100-yard butterfly was pretty solid for us. I think we need to just improve on being a little more mentally tough and just sharpening up a little bit with a lot of our races,” said Holder.
Although swimming seems to focus on the individual performances because individual swimmers compete in their own events, there is still a team dynamic. Each event’s points are tallied for a final score that determines the winner of the meet. Holder believes that this team dynamic is still hugely important in the competition.
“Clearly, everyone’s focusing on the individual, but in my mind it’s more of a team sport than anything because collectively you’re scoring as a team but also with your teammates,” he said. “You can feed off the energy and put together a string of really good swims. That’s ultimately what we’re trying to do to create a winning atmosphere.”
Although the Hoyas struggled to record top-place finishes on Saturday, Holder is confident the Hoyas can use that energy moving forward in the season.
“Overall I think our team is in pretty good shape, and we’re set up pretty well for the rest of the season,” he said.
Georgetown only has four more meets before it competes in the Big East Swimming and Diving Championships in February.
Georgetown’s next competition is against Washington, D.C. rival American University Friday, where it will seek its first win for either squad since the teams’ sweep of Howard on Dec. 7. Holder hopes to use their last meet as motivation to propel the teams to their main objective for this season.
“We’ll just try to focus on the details of their races and use this as a stepping stone to our ultimate goal of a Big East Championship,” said Holder.