FILE PHOTO: MICHELLE LUBERTO/THE HOYA After a busy winter break that involved training and trip to Puerto Rico, the Georgetown swimming and diving team will host a meet at home.
FILE PHOTO: MICHELLE LUBERTO/THE HOYA
After a busy winter break that involved training and trip to Puerto Rico, the Georgetown swimming and diving team will host a meet at home.

The Georgetown swimming and diving team heads into this weekend’s set of matchups with leveled confidence as it gears up for bouts with crosstown rivals American and George Washington, followed by a match with Davidson. The weekend represents one of the Blue and Gray’s last nonconference hurdles before the aquatic athletes can sink their teeth into its Big East schedule.

The last time the Hoyas saw action in the pool was Dec. 6 against the Bisons and Lady Bisons of Howard, a home meet in which the men’s and women’s teams secured dominant victories of 162-39 and 136-72, respectively. This meet was the last of the 2014 campaign, although it did not signify any sort of break for the Hoyas.

“We trained at home, then got down here [on Dec. 29] and went as a team to Puerto Rico,” senior captain Greg Romanov said. “We spent a week down there and did some pretty heavy training.”

The trip, which took place from Dec. 30 to Jan. 6, kept the team honest and prepared it to head into an undeniably significant stretch of its schedule.

Head Coach Jamie Holder agreed with the sentiments of his captain.

“We’re definitely ready to swim fast,” Holder said. “We got some good training down in Puerto Rico and this weekend is going to be the next stepping stone towards conference matchups.”

Holder and Romanov are also in agreement on the vehicle that will push the Hoyas to success down the stretch; both highlighted the underclassmen as vital contributors.

“All year long, a lot of our underclassmen have been stepping up, but it’s going to take a team-wide effort,” Holder said.
That team-wide effort will include Romanov and his co-captains, though when asked about personal goals, he deferred to talking about his teammates.

“All of our freshmen have had phenomenal years,” Romanov said. “They’re going to be the group that carries the team forward. I’m a senior, so I’ve got five weeks left, and looking at this team the freshmen are where it’s at. They’re a great group of guys that show up to work hard every day. Fun group to swim with.”

On the men’s side, a list of standout freshmen includes Chandler Hinson and Daniel Ross. Hinson joined the Blue and Gray’s 400-yard freestyle relay squad at the Bucknell Invitational in November to help the team earn a fifth-place time of 3:07.20. Ross’ victory in the Howard meet, a 10:04.48 clocking in the mixed 1000 freestyle, also indicates a future of success.

On the women’s side, freshmen Christine Ryan, Kirstin Peterson and Molly Fitzpatrick have all featured heavily in the Hoyas’ continued success and were instrumental in a strong third-place overall finish at the Bucknell Invitational.

The Big East championship is right around the corner, with a start date of Feb.18 at Ithaca College. The impending competition weighs heavily on the minds of all of Georgetown’s swimmers and divers, and for the seniors, the date marks the final event that they will swim for the Blue and Gray after years of long campaigns to reach this point in the season.

Still, for Romanov, the approach remains the same.

“Personally, you do this sport with the intention of getting better each year, so that’s the end goal,” Romanov said. “But especially as a team, we got second in the Big East last year and it’s exciting, we’re hoping to build on that.”

Holder is also excited by the prospect of a high finish in the championship.

“The goal is to win,” Holder said. “We’ll see if we have the firepower. A lot of it depends on where we stack up, but I expect us to score more points this year than we did last year for both teams.”

That quest begins this Friday at 4 p.m. against American in McCarthy Pool. On Saturday at 1 p.m., Georgetown hosts George Washington and Davidson for the team’s senior day.

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