by C. GARRETT KEIDEL, Asst. Editor
Over the long weekend of Feb. 14 through Feb. 17, the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams competed at the MAAC championships. During this competition, 22 school records were broken in 13 events between the men’s and women’s teams, which is the most they have ever done at a single meet in school history.
At the end of the four days of competition, the men’s team finished in tenth place with 150 points and the women finished in ninth with 151 points.
Highlights of the competition included senior Ally Hutzler’s record performance. Between individual events and team events, she was involved in the breaking of all seven records on the women’s side. In her final season competing in the pool, she leaves as one of Manhattan College’s most successful swimmers with 12 school records to her name.
She set the new school records in the 100 breaststroke, 100 Fly and the 200 IM. Hutzler was also involved in the records for the 400 Free Relay, 800 Free Relay, 200 Medley Relay and 400 Medley Relay along with teammates Audrey Corcoran, Carolyn Crocker, Kali Nembach, Megan Pagano, Klaudia Nagrabska and Morgan Fountain.
When asked about her reaction to breaking multiple records during competition, Nemback had this to say.
“I was excited,” said Nembach. “My main focus at the meet though wasn’t to break the records, it was to make it back to swim at night to score points for the team. So breaking the records in the process was exciting, but it wasn’t the main goal of MAACs.”
For Crocker, even the opportunity to try and break the record was special.
“It was really exciting,” said Crocker. “It was an honor to be considered to be in the relay that breaks the record. Just to see everyone’s faces afterwards, they already know that you did it, but then you figure it out as well. It is just a great feeling.”
Switching over to the men’s swimming and diving team, they were able to break six records as well. The most coming from freshman Andre van Huyssteen and junior Evan Battisti who both set two individual records along with racing in the 800 Free Relay. Huyssteen’s individual records came in the 200 Free and the 200 IM. Battisti’s individual records came in the 500 Free and the 1650 Free. The other athletes that raced with van Huyssteen and Battisti in the 800 Free relay were sophomore Tyler Dalton and senior Brandon Shields. Dalton also set an individual record in the 400 IM.
For van Huyssteen, the mindset of the entire season has helped to push him to get him where he is today.
“I try to swim every race to the best of my ability and learn from every race,” said van Huyssteen. “Afterwards I like to watch my races and see what I did wrong because every single thing you do wrong is putting on time. So even after my races at MAACs I could say ‘oh that turn, that start,’ that is all time that could come off. My main focus for the entire season was to swim the best that I can and to learn from the mistakes I made.”
For Dalton, the energy involved in the moments of breaking records was memorable.
“It was definitely exciting,” said Dalton. “You get to see all of the year’s hard work go towards something…One of the records was the relay and that is always high spirit because you’re with a team and everyone is behind the blocks amping each other up. And you just know to go fast for everyone else.”
The Jaspers will now be out of the pool for a quick two week break before training begins for the next season.
Editor’s Note: Alexandra Hutzler is a senior writer for The Quadrangle.