By Isaiah Rosario, Asst. Sports Editor
After a whirlwind season, both the men’s and women’s Jasper swim teams finished 9th in the 2022 MAAC Championship last week in Buffalo, New York. The women placed 9th out of 10 teams, and the men finished last of the teams that attended the event.
Being one of the smallest teams at the championships, the Jaspers were far from victorious but still managed to beat five school records. The school record for the 200-yard freestyle was broken by junior Mackenzie Tuttle with a time of 1:54.71. To add to that record break performance, freshman Joseph Brennan broke the school record for the 100 yard breaststroke with a time of 56.11. To cap off all the individual records broken, sophomore Kyla Guilfoil also broke the 100-yard backstroke record with a time of 59.90 and the 50-yard backstroke record with a time of 28.13.
Tuttle, team captain and junior psychology major, spoke to The Quadrangle about what it was like to have her name etched into Manhattan’s record book yet again.
“It was exciting,” Tuttle said. “I was pretty happy with my time, it was personal best for me.”
Freshman accounting major Joseph Brennan also spoke to The Quadrangle about how it feels to break the 100-yard breaststroke record.
“It feels good, especially considering the circumstances of the season,” Brennan said. “Not having a coach in the beginning and not being able to practice as much as we wanted to, we also did really well.”
Teddy Segmuller, Kyla Guilfoil, Jessica O’Brien, and Mackenzie Tuttle also broke the school record for the 200-yard freestyle relay with a time of 1:38.66.
“I was really excited to be a part of breaking yet another school record with the team for the relay,” Segmuller said. “Jess O’Brien was on the relay for us as well and that was the first school record she broke, so I am just really happy to be a part of that relay with Kyla, Mackenzie, and Jess. We had a great time doing it.”
Despite the men’s and the women’s teams both coming in 9th place in their prospective divisions, the team overall was very happy with the performances across the board.
“I think we did pretty well overall,” Segmuller said. “For us, it was really exciting because both Mackenzie and Joe made it to the finals, which was really exciting. And that was definitely something that the rest of the team looks very forward to.”
It was the first time that many Jaspers were able to experience the MAAC Championships and see what it truly offers.
“Experiencing it for the first time was really overwhelming,” Brennan said. “There are a lot of teams there. It’s a small pool deck. So it’s pretty crowded. There’s not really space for you to do much but you can’t get overwhelmed. You just had to go with it but it ended up being a blast. I got to meet a bunch of new people. I got to see a bunch of old friends too. So it was a good time.”
Segmuller, Tuttle, Brennan, and others made it to the ECAC Spring Championships because of their performances at the MAAC championship. Despite coming back from Buffalo for MAAC Championships this past Sunday, the Jaspers have to immediately jump back into training for this massive event to be held from Feb. 25 through 27.
Due to the lack of rest between the MAAC Championship and the ECAC Spring Championships, expectations are not high for the Jaspers.
“We’re just getting back into training right now and parts of coming off as a big meet like that, especially for a lot of the upperclassmen because the season is usually over,” Tuttle said. “Now we’re just kind of trying to keep in shape and stay with the practice. We’re leaving next Thursday, so we don’t really have a lot of time to prepare. We’re just going to try our best.”
“Yeah, I’m not setting too many expectations for myself personally, just because we just came off a big meet last week,” Brennan said. “So I’m just looking to have a good time and see what I could do.”
Unfortunately, the Jaspers began the training season without a head coach. In late October, the Jasper swimmers welcomed Eric Rasmussen as their new head coach. Also, while having a new coach it is a difficult transition when the swimmers do not have the training that they used to.
“We don’t really have the facilities that we should have,” Tuttle said. “Two years ago we used to train twice a day for two hours a day and now we’re lucky to get an hour a day for about five days a week so it’s hard. When you get to see Rider, Marist, and Iona you know that their training like probably like triple if not more than we are, so getting past that mental block like when I go up there and I’m in the final and I’m like these girls have more stamina than I do because they train way more than I do.”
When there are downs there are always ups. Although there were some very difficult moments for our Jaspers this season, there were definitely some heartwarming moments as well.
“The most exciting moment for me was definitely seeing Mackenzie up on that block for the 200 free,” Segmuller said. “I honestly was so proud of her. Even though I’m a sprinter, and she’s a distance swimmer, we have gone through every single experience as a Manhattan College swim team member together.”
“I just was so proud of her because like [Mackenzie] said, a lot of this [season] has been mental and she definitely overcame that and was up there in the top eight, I’m just so proud of her and her successes sometimes feel like my successes because we all are one big family and I was just really proud of her for being up there,” Segmuller said.