Men, Women’s swim programs compete in Conference Champs

By Joseph Yamulla || Assistant Sports Editor

This past weekend at the Centennial Conference Championships, the F&M swim team jumped into the water for the final time this season.  Overall, it was a very successful weekend for the Diplomats.  The men’s team finished in third place with 499 points.  Unfortunately, they were unable to fend off Gettysburg, who captured their fifth championship in five years with 763.5 points, and Washington who finished second with 594 points.  The women’s team also had a great weekend in Gettysburg.  They were able to finish in second place for the weekend.  Ursinus took the championship with a final total of 667.5 points, to F&M’s total of 644 points.  Along with very impressive final outcomes for both teams, F&M also came home with some notable individual performances.
First-year Ryan Caffrey had a very strong weekend to close out his first collegiate season.  He won gold in the 100 yard breast stroke.  Caffrey also took bronze in the 200-yard freestyle relay, and silver in the 800-yard freestyle relay.  Another first year, Eric Lang brought back silver for the 200-yard individual medley.  Senior Dennis Chen also won bronze in the 200-yard freestyle relay, and silver in the 800-yard freestyle relay.  Finally, first year David Burton was able to take bronze in the 200-yard freestyle relay, and silver in the 800-yard freestyle relay.  The impressive work in the water from this group gave plenty of Diplomats reason to be proud.  When reflecting back on the weekend, sophomore Reeves Connolly said,
“Regardless of how anyone did in their individual performance, we had an incredibly positive attitude ending the season that weekend just because of how well we swam and finished as a team.”
The F&M women swimmers’ weekend provided the team and its supporters every bit as much to cheer for and possibly even more.  In accommodation to the second-place finish, first year Bridget Dromerick had a weekend to remember.  She won gold in the 500-yard freestyle, the 200-yard backstroke, and silver in the 200-yard freestyle.  She also won bronze in the 800-yard freestyle relay.  Dromerick brought two awards back to campus, the Most Outstanding Performer award, and also the Most Outstanding Rookie.  If this past weekend was a reflection of the things that she will accomplish as a collegiate swimmer here at F&M, then the road ahead in her remaining three years is very bright indeed.
The other medalists for the women’s swim team were senior Katherine Grant, who took gold in the 1650-yard freestyle, and silver in the 500-yard freestyle.  This is Grant’s fourth consecutive year securing that accolade. First year Melissa Mullin won gold in the 400-yard individual medley, and silver in the 200-yard backstroke.  First year Kellen McDonald earned silver in the 200-yard butterfly.  Junior Courtney Collins took bronze in the 100 and 200-yard backstroke.  Finally, sophomore Jillian Albus, Dromerick, Collins, and Grant won bronze in the 800-yard freestyle relay and in the 400-yard medley relay.
One of the most important statements F&M swimming made during the Centennial Conference Championship, is that both the men’s and women’s teams have some impressive young talent and will be prepared to compete for even more next season.  Under head coach Ben Delia, the program continues to show progressive improvement each year.
Next year, with key returning swimmers such as Ryan Caffrey and Bridget Dromerick, the team will look to make even more strides after a successful 2014-2015
season.

First-year Joseph Yamulla is the Assistant Sports Editor. His email is jyamulla@fandm.edu.

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