SWIMMING & DIVING | Holder Confident Ahead of Year’s First Home Meet
Published: Friday, December 7, 2012
Updated: Sunday, December 9, 2012 17:12
After a tough loss to William & Mary last weekend, the Georgetown swimming and diving team will stay home this weekend to take on Howard and Catholic in its first home meet of the season.
Although the Hoyas will be swimming in their own pool this time, Head Coach Jamie Holder said that they will not approach Saturday differently than usual.
“It will [be] nice for the team to swim at home, but I wouldn’t say it’s really going to be a distinct advantage other than [that] we know the pool better than the other two teams,” Holder said.
In truth, nothing needs to change in terms of preparation in order for Georgetown to come out of the meet with a good result; the Blue and Gray have posted faster times in every event than have any of the Howard or Catholic swimmers.
“[Howard and Catholic] aren’t as strong as some of the others we’ve faced,” Holder said. “It will be good to swim at home, and we’re probably going to swim some events that give us a little more flexibility with our lineup.”
Georgetown has the strongest advantage in the long-distance freestyle events, which have been the team’s strong point so far this season.
On the men’s side, senior Paul Quincy and freshman Austen Evenson look to repeat their one-two finish from last weekend in the 500-yard freestyle. Their respective times of 4:39.80 and 4:50.56 each beat the times posted by both Howard and Catholic’s fastest distance freestylers by over ten seconds. The Quincy-Evenson tandem also looks for a one-two finish in the 1000-yard freestyle.
For the women’s team, freshman Shannon McNulty swam a 10:49.52 in the 1000 free in the meet last weekend, and freshman Nicole Tronolone posted a 10:40.14 earlier in the season — times that are both faster than the 11:06.11 swam by Catholic’s top swimmer. In the 500 freestyle, sophomores Emily Hall and Kim DiNapoli finished in 5:21.80 and 5:21.85, respectively, last weekend. Once again, both of these times beat Howard and Catholic’s times by a sizable margin.
Georgetown also seems to have a similar advantage in the shorter events. The Hoyas expect top finishes from junior men’s 50- and 100-yard freestyle swimmer Matthew Mandel and sophomore women’s 200-yard individual medley swimmer Casey Bandman.
The relay events appear to be another strength for the Blue and Gray. For the men, Georgetown’s A and B relay teams posted faster times in the 200-yard freestyle against William & Mary than either Catholic or Howard have posted this year.
But even though they are the favorites, Holder knows that his team cannot afford to let its guard down.
“We can’t take them lightly. We have to make sure we come up with enough points to come out on top,” he said.
Indeed, the Howard and Catholic women are both going to pose a serious threat in the 200 free particularly. At the William & Mary meet, the Georgetown women’s relay team — consisting of freshmen Erin Timochenko, Lauren Ward, Fiona Kane and Erica Fabbri — swam a 1:42.14. The Howard relay team swam a 1:45.84 in their last meet, and the Catholic relay squad finished at 1:43.30 earlier this season.
Georgetown’s largest obstacle may be maintaining their mental strength this weekend, but the Hoyas still appear to be in excellent shape as they continue to prepare for the season-ending conference meet.
“The whole season is a preparation for [the Big East championships],” Holder said. “Everything we do is toward that goal — all the meets, the practices that we’re doing are sort of stepping stones to that ultimate goal.”
The Blue and Gray will face off against Howard and Catholic at 1 p.m. tomorrow at McCarthy Pool.