Manhattan started off on a high note at the 2015 MAAC Championships last week.
Its strong performance continued for the duration of the championships. By the end of the fourth and final day, both teams combined to set 18 new school records.
“It’s really outstanding for our women’s team,” Sara Buckley, freestyle swimmer, said. “I feel like each year we are improving drastically and each year we see records going down at MAACs. The fact that we were able to shatter 18 this year is great for our program.”
Along with breaking 11 of the 18 records, the women’s team set new times in the 200, 400 and 800 freestyle including the 200 and 400 medley relay races in the same competition. This was the first team in program history that achieved this accomplishment.
“It was important because my freshman year I was only on one relay team,” Buckley said. “This year I was on four and we were able to break records in each of them. Comparing last year to this year, it was so self-motivating to be on four relay teams that were able to beat four records. For the team and myself, I thought that was really great for us.”
On the first night of the championships, Madison Brown; Alexandra Hutzler; Kerry Schuermann and Patricia Colton raced in the 200 medley relay to a finish that was three seconds better than the previous school record. In the 800 freestyle, Michaela Schatz; Buckley; Audrey Corcoran and Eileen Blood broke the school mark by almost five seconds.
On night two, Brown, Hutzler, Buckley and Colton set a new record in the 200-freestyle with a 1:39.98. The previous record was a time of 1:40.91 set in 2012.
Then on the third night, Schuermann; Brown; Buckley and Hutzler set a new school best in the 400 medley relay.
To finish up the championships, Buckley; Brown; Colton and Hutzler set a new record in the 400 freestyle.
The championships were a great showing all around, with multiple members of the team contributing to the successful nights.
“Compared to previous years, we are gaining a lot of depth and variety,” Buckley said. “We had a lot of great incoming freshmen as well as our current performers from all different grades. I think we are just going to continue to improve.”
“Last year it was only a few people who contributed,” Brown, butterfly swimmer, said. “This year it was a lot more. That shows that our recruitment has gotten better and hopefully it will continue.”
As the team finished up this impressive season, they look toward next season and the future of the program. They hope to break more milestones and find talented recruits to help their program get even better.
Buckley noted how the men’s team started out with nothing and have worked their way up.
“I think that we will definitely be able to do the same and improve in the coming years,” Buckley said. “Hopefully we will be able to gain more talented swimmers in the future and our program will continue to get better. We’re in that in between stage where we’re getting there but hopefully one day we’ll be in the top three at MAACs.”