Men and Women’s Swim and Dive Teams finish up the MAACs with New School Records 

By Karen Flores, Arts and Entertainment editor

The men’s and women’s swim and dive teams wrapped up the MAAC Championships in Buffalo on Feb. 11. The men’s team placed eighth and the women’s team placed ninth with students breaking several school records. 

According to GoJaspers, Abbey Mink started off the second day of the championship by finishing the 50-yard freestyle with a prelim time of 24.06, scoring the highest prelim placement of the day for the Jaspers while also setting a new school record. 

This was Mink’s first time participating in the MAAC Championship and also her first season back in the water after graduating from high school. Mink wrote to the Quad about her experience at the competition. 

“I had become so burnt out in the past, I really needed the break for both my mental and physical health,” Mink wrote. “Being able to come back and start over from scratch, and build my way back up, made the accomplishments I achieved this past weekend even sweeter.”

Mink also set a new school record for the 100 freestyle finishing with a time of 52.21. 

Senior swimmer Mackenzie Tuttle was the previous record holder for the 100-yard freestyle. She wrote that having records allows for healthy competition and was excited about Mink’s achievement. 

“It is always so exciting to see my teammates break school records,” Tuttle wrote. “[A record] that stands out to me this weekend is Abbey breaking the 100 freestyle record because prior to that, that was one of the records I held. Records are meant to be broken, and that kind of energy provides such healthy competition for us to see how many times we can go back and forth while holding that record. The goal is always to lower the school records as much as possible, and we are all constantly rooting for one another.” 

 The women’s team broke a school record during the 200-yard medley relay with a finishing time of 1:48.13, the members being Kyla Guilfoil, Mackenzie Tuttle, Abbey Mink and Shayna Millard. The same cohort broke a school record for the 400 freestyle relay with a finishing time of 3:33.06, and the 800 freestyle relay with a final time of 7:50.25. 

Tuttle told The Quadrangle that being a senior and seeing the team get faster over the last few years has been incredible. 

“The coolest part about the relays, being a senior on this team, is that I have been on these relays since freshman year, lowering school records,” Tuttle wrote. “Every time it happens, you think “there’s no way we can go even faster,” so for us to be able to continuously lower the relay records is incredibly exciting.” 

According to the Jasper swim team’s Instagram, Guilfoil is now the fastest female backstroker in Jasper Swimming and Diving history. During the MAAC Championships, she completed the Trifecta in the 50, 100 and 200 backstroke and is now the record holder for all three. 

Joe Brennan, a member of the men’s swim team finished the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 55.80 breaking a school record. This also allowed him to qualify for the finals where he placed in eighth place. He wrote that despite being nervous about the meet, as it progressed he felt more confident and was extremely proud of the accomplishments of both swim teams. 

“I ended up breaking the school record for the 100 breast, while also achieving best times in the 200 breast and 50 free,” Brennan wrote. “I was feeling extremely nervous and putting myself under a lot of pressure before the meet, but as the meet went on I began to feel more comfortable and confident.”

Both teams trained all year with the goal of performing well in the MAACs. During the winter break, the swim team took a one-week training trip to Miami, Florida where they swam twice a day, every day, and also did weight training every other day to prepare for the competition. They intensely trained for close to two weeks before they began to taper down, which meant lowering their yardage each day to rest their bodies, prior to the competition. 

Mink wrote that one of the hardest parts of preparing for the competition was resting and recovering from training both physically and mentally. 

“Being able to handle the stress and pressure of competing in up to 10 races over the course of 4 days, is not an easy task,” Mink wrote. “The hardest part of the training was allowing myself to rest for the 2 weeks leading up to the competition. It can be hard when you are resting so much because it feels like you are allowing yourself to lose all of the progress that you have been working towards. Your body needs that rest in order to perform at that high level for the full 4 days of competition, even if it doesn’t feel like it.”

The members of the swim team are very proud of each other for their performance in the MAACs and hope that the team members will be able to motivate others to continue to work hard. 

 “I am proud of myself and it goes to show that the hard work leading up to the competition was worth it,” Brennan wrote. “As a member of the swim team, watching other people break records makes me even prouder. It is a great sign that the team is made up of dedicated and talented swimmers who are constantly trying to perform at their best.It also means that the team is currently headed in the right direction. These achievements can help motivate and inspire the rest of the team to continue working hard.”

Editor’s note: Kyla Guilfoil, who is mentioned in this article, is Managing Editor and Sports Editor of The Quadrangle.