COURTESY GUHOYAS The men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams earned silver medals at last season’s Big East Championships and will open this season Saturday in Newark.
The men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams earned silver medals at last season’s Big East Championships and will open this season Saturday in Newark.

This weekend marks the official season opener for the Georgetown swimming and diving team and their first competition under new Head Coach Jack Leavitt as the team travels to Newark, Del., for a meet at the University of Delaware on Saturday.

During the summer and the preseason, one of Leavitt’s top priorities has been getting to know his 62 student-athletes and their individual talents.

“Now that we’re three weeks in, they’re getting to know me a little better. I’m getting to know them a little better, and it’s starting to gel well,” Leavitt said.

Over the summer, the team members were advised to stay in the best shape they could and find a pool wherever possible. The dedicated student athletes listened and trained globally.

“We had kids in China, Israel, Spain, New Jersey, California. … We had people all over the country, all over the world,” Leavitt said. “Whether they were interning or taking classes or whatever else, we had kids that were working out in whatever way they could.”

Last Friday, the team hosted an intra-squad meet, attended by potential recruits and returning alumni. Although it had only been three weeks into the season, Leavitt commented that the team seemed prepared and in shape for the season ahead.

Leavitt also mentioned that the team had been working on improving the athletes’ technical skills before focusing on time and speed. Through individual sit-downs with each team member, coaches have been tailoring practice to make positive changes in both technique and race strategy with individualized stroke work and specialized drills.

This weekend, Coach Leavitt is looking forward to racing against other teams. He highlighted the successful past of opening meets in previous years.

“We have a lot of parent support that will be there, so it’ll feel like a home meet … We’re really excited about getting up and racing and having the first one under our belt before our first home meet in two weeks,” Leavitt said.

Leavitt urges both fans and Hoyas alike to keep an eye out this season for senior Katie Duncalf and junior Molly Fitzpatrick. He stressed that Duncalf, entering her senior year, is looking “to leave her mark here,” after placing second in conference last year in the 200m backstroke. Big East champion Fitzpatrick swam in the Olympic Trials in Omaha, Neb., this July.

While the women’s side has superstar talent, Leavitt emphasized the depth of the men’s team across all events.

“Ultimately if we do win a Big East championship at the end of the season, it will be a complete team effort,” Leavitt said.

This season, Leavitt is looking forward to performing well at the Bucknell Invitational meet in Lewisburg, Pa., in early December. He is also excited for the Big East Tournament at the end of the season in February.

“We finished second in the conference the last three years, [now it’s time to] chip away at first place and win the championship, ” Leavitt said.

Leavit  emphasized his excitement for the development of the group and is anticipating successful performances at the exhibition meet this Friday and the official season opener Saturday in Newark.

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