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08 — 09 Men”s & Women”s Swiimmiing Season Preview

In Uncategorized on November 20, 2008 at 10:19 pm

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Arcadia Swimming. There are both men’s and women’s events, but all play for one entity: Arcadia Swimming. They pride themselves on their unity and this year, both teams have something to prove. Second year Head Coach Stephen Rote agrees: “Last season was a stepping stone towards the future we would like to build for Arcadia Swimming.  We broke numerous school records and showed the conference that we are one of the up and coming teams.”

Both the men and the women lost four-year standouts due to graduation which will no doubt be a big early season void to fill. The women will miss Michelle McCandless ‘08, who was named to the MAC Second Team and graduated with several school records. For the men, the Knights say goodbye to the lengthy and strong Brendan Peters ’08, who backboned the men’s lineup for the past four years.  Other graduated swimmers include LJ Morgan ’08 and Bryan Alexander ‘08, both of whom, along with Peters, placed in the 2008 conference championships. As a team, Arcadia Swimming set 14 new school records at the championships in 2008, with the women finishing in 9th place (60 points) and the men in 7th (167) in the nine-team field.

For the 2008-09 season, they would like to continue building on that success with 14 returning to the team, all with experience in both short and long distance. Four are featured on the men’s squad, and Coach Rote expects all of them to qualify for conference playoffs and place. They include senior and team captain John Konieczny (Philadelphia, PA/Archbishop Ryan), junior Steve Neafsey (Admore, PA/Lower Merion), and sophomores Jason Sharpe (Burlington, NJ/Shawnee) and Will Ruocco (Brick, NJ/Brick Twp. Memorial).  Konieczny and Sharpe helped to lead the men’s relay team into the MAC championships, culminating in a new school record in the 800 Freestyle Relay.  Neafsey and Ruocco bring even further consistency to the Knights team in short, distance and relay events.

The women have ten swimmers returning this season, including an intact 200 Free Relay team that competed consistently with each other last season.  The women’s squad, flanked by four juniors and six returning sophomores give this team depth and experience against the many competitive conference teams.  The juniors feature Jen Alfano (Reading,PA/Sinking Springs) who Rote expects to qualify for the post-season, Tamar Paltin (King of Prussia,PA/Upper Merion), C.J. Lacy (Chambersburg, PA/Chambersburg Area), and Nicole Henninger (Levittown, PA/Harry S. Truman). The sophomores are Steph Bartolotta (South Brunswick,NJ/South Brunswick), who Coach Rote also expects to both qualify and place in conference playoffs, Danielle Disanto (Sickerlerville,NJ/Timber Creek), Gina Ruppert (Boyertown, PA/Boyertown), Sam Sunbury (Southington,CT/Southington), Lauren Meyers (Lancaster,PA/Hempfield), and Holly Hamilton (Blackwood,NJ/Triton).  Myers, Ruppert, Alfano and DiSanto led the relay teams well into last season, and with Hamilton and Paltin also returning with relay experience, the women’s squad will look to place a relay team in the conference championship in 2009.

The men and women both have quite a few newcomers to the team as well, many of whom are expected to contribute to the team and even qualify for conferences. On the men’s side there is junior Benjamin Zee (Beachwood, NJ/toms River-South), sophomore RJ Perzinski (Forest Hill, MD/York Country Day School), and freshmen Steve Haasis (Ridely Park,PA/Ridley) Andrew Buczkowski, Aaron Knock (Glenside,PA/Abington), and Adrian Chan(Lincoln,RI/Lincoln). For the women, Rote names juniors Kayla Kroll (Middletown,DE/Middletown), Amanda Ricci (Robbinsville,NJ/Allentown), and Melissa Yaeger (Stratford,NJ) and freshmen Jessica Parker (Hillsborough,NJ/Hillsborough), Caitlin Culhane (West New York,NJ/Memorial), Amalie Kreitman (Hillsborough,NJ/Hillsborough), and Elly Fernandez (Bernville,PA/Tulpehocken).

The 2008-09 Knights had their opening meet against Ursinus College on Wednesday, November 5th. While both the men and women came back with losses, freshman Jessica Parker showcased two first place finishes in the 50 and 100 Freestyle races for the women while for the men, John Konieczny just missed a first place win in the 200 Free. Both teams travel to FDU-Florham on Saturday, November 8th for their first Middle Atlantic Conference meet of the year at 1 PM.

All Knights Athletics Articles courtesy of Arcadia
University Athletics; Photos courtesy of University
Photographer Josh Blustein

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