This year’s men’s swimming and diving team is looking forward to the upcoming dual meet season, but it will have the name Scott Paavola — who tragically died over the off-season — in its mind at all times. Head coach Joe Lucia, beginning his 16th season at the helm of the program, is doing his best to keep spirits up around the pool, and many of his troops are responding to his encouragement.
Overall, the team will look to improve on last year’s mark (7-4, 5-4 EISL), and a sixth place finish out of ten at the EISL Championships.
“I am optimistic that the team will improve on last year’s record,” Lucia said.
The team will be led this year by senior co-captains Bill Dillon and Danny Royce. Dillon specializes in the butterfly and Royce in the individual medley (IM) and breaststroke. Charles Ernst, Julian King, Jeremy Sample, and Timothy Lenz round out the team’s “strong senior class,” as noted by Lucia.
Lenz will lead a solid diving corps that also includes sophomores Andrew Wolf and Anthony Schultz, along with freshman Joe Weiss — a group which should score many points for the Red this season.
Also being looked upon to score some points for the Red are sophomores Danny Diette in the back and free strokes, Doug Ernst in the free and fly, and Paul Teta in the free and IM. Junior Rob Payne will also be a key component to the team in the fly and IM this season.
The team will need to rely on some new faces this year. The talented freshman corps will be led by Weiss, as well as Stefano Caprara in the backstroke and IM, Jared Levan in the free, and Jeb Bingham in the fly.
Coach Marrie Neumer and the Red women are also looking forward to the start of the upcoming season. The team will look to improve on last year’s 3-7 mark and seventh-place finish in the Ivy Championships, which included a tough loss to rival Columbia.
Key injuries to senior captain Deanne Moyer and senior Courtney Tawresey will leave the squad with only eight swimmers returning from last season.
As a consequence of the injuries, “The team must look to the youth,” Neumer said.
A big part of the team’s potential success will be in large part due to second-year assistant coach Pat Gallagher and longtime diving coach Rick Gilbert who “provide stability to the program,” according to Neumer.
The freshman corps will be led by Holly Chance in the free and fly, Jessica Brookman in the free and back, diver Kristen Rayhack, Anne Seiffert in the free, and Marisa Sweetser in the breaststroke and IM.
Leadership on the squad will come from junior captain Megan Gutman, a key component of the relays, and senior captain Kirsten Holz, a transfer from the University of Miami, who took the spot of Moyer as captain.
Also looking to gain points for the Red this season will be junior Jayme Majek in the free, fly, and IM, who is returning from a back injury which sidelined her all of last season. Sophomores Alyson Melin and Meredith Blackman will be crucial to the team’s success this year as well in the breast, fly, and IM.
Archived article by Chris Mascaro