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AU swimming and diving teams ready to make splash in 2010-11
10/23/10

ALFRED, NY — Depth and experience — and a host of new faces — mark the 2010-11 Alfred University men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams. The men’s team seeks to return to the top of the Empire 8 Conference and the women look to improve on their 13th-place finish at the New York State championships.

The Alfred men, with seven additions to the team, will need to overcome the loss of several key performers from a season ago, when the Saxons finished third at the Empire 8 Conference championships and fourth in the Upper New York State Collegiate Swimming Association (UNYSCSA) championships. The AU men had won each of the previous three Empire 8 and UNYSCSA meets.

Among the athletes from last season who will be missed are All-American Kameron Chambliss and Andrew Brisson, Empire 8 and UNYSCSA Diver of the Year and Swimmer of the Year, respectively. The Saxons, led by ninth-year head coach Brian Striker, have plenty of talent returning, led by seniors Tyler Olsen (Saratoga Springs, NY/Saratoga) and Zach Mix (Mt. Morris, NY/Mt. Morris). Olsen and Mix (Second Team Empire 8, 100 butterfly) were each part of teams that won Empire 8 and UNYSCSA and Empire 8 crowns in the 400 medley and 200 freestyle relays.

Mix has been the team’s top performer in the butterfly each of the last two seasons and Olsen looks to be the leading freestyler this season; both are key parts of Alfred’s relays. Mix has been solid in the 200-yard individual medley and Olsen has scored in the 50-, 100-, 200- and 500-yard freestyle distances.

Other key returnees from a year ago include seniors Matt Lobban (Pittsford, NY/Pittsford-Mendon), seventh in the 1,650-yard freestyle at last year’s state meet, and Dan Steere (Hornell, NY/Alfred-Almond), 12th in the 100 free at states in 2010; junior Warren Dolben (Rye, NY/Berwick Academy), fifth in the 100-yard breaststroke and a member of AU’s state-champion 400-yard medley relay team; sophomore Nate Chapman (Hornell, NY/Hornell), eighth in the 1,650 free at states; junior Richard Guarniero (New York Mills, NY/Thomas R. Proctor), 17th in the 100-yard backstroke at the UNYSCSA meet, and Jeff Swartout, 22nd in the 400-yard individual medley at states last year.

Lobban scored at the state meet in the 1,650 free and 200 back; Steere in the 50-, 100- and 200-yard free; Dolban scored in the 100- and 200-yard breast and performed well in the 200 IM at dual meets. Chapman was Alfred’s fifth-highest dual meet scorer as a freshman last year and scored at the state meet in the 200-, 500- and 1,650-yard free. He also swam on the 800-yard free relay team that placed second at last year’s state meet.

AU welcomes the return of senior Ted Remington (Pike, NY/Letchworth), a butterfly/backstroke specialist who missed last season due to injury. Other returnees to the Saxons include senior Nick Clark (Milford, NH/Milford); juniors Vincent Pascarella (Bradford, PA/Bradford) and Richard Lenihan (Warwick, NY/Warwick Valley); and sophomore Tyler Puls (Rochester, NY/Harley School).

The Saxons welcome several talented newcomers, including sophomore Brett Irwin (Springwater, NY/Wayland-Cohocton) and freshman Kyle Kraeger (Henrietta, NY/Rush-Henrietta) and Peter Sowinskli (Akon, NY/Akron). Irwin (butterfly), Kraeger (backstroke) and Sowinski (freestyle) are solid swimmers who will be expected to bolster dual meet scoring right away and strengthen the relays.

Freshmen Terry Soto (Mt. Morris, NY/Mt. Morris) (butterfly), Dan Robinson (Bath, NY/Haverling) (butterfly), Yair Lazar (Teaneck, NJ/Teaneck) (freestyle) and Zach Kranefeld (Millville, NJ/Millville) (diving) are newcomers Striker hopes can step in and contribute.

The women’s team is experienced, as the Saxons lost only one senior —backstroker Meghan Jones — from a season ago. The team returns three seniors who’ve contributed heavily to the team’s efforts each of the last three seasons.

Returning seniors include Sarah Blair (Auburn, NY/Auburn), who has led AU in dual-meet scoring each of the last two years. Blair, the school record-holder in the 50-yard freestyle (24.30 seconds), place fifth in that event at last year’s state championship meet. She also scored in the 100- and 200-yard free at states and is a key performers on relays.

Calista Merritt (Conesus, NY/Livonia) and Cailin Asmo (Johnson City, NY/Johnson City) are the team’s other seniors. Merritt is the team’s top returning distance freestyler. She will look to improve on last year’s stats meet, when she was 35th in the 500 free and 25th in the 1,650 free. Asmo, a butterfly specialist, was 32nd in the 200 fly and 43rd in the 100 fly at last year’s states. Both were key members of Alfred’s relays teams at the state meet.

Key returnees also include junior Donna Hoops (Geneseo, NY/Geneseo) (backstroke) and sophomores Eryn Matich (Johnson City, NY/Johnson City) (butterfly/backstroke) and Kylie Smith (Abington, PA/Abington) (diving).

Hoops swam on the medley relays that scored at states and was solid in dual meets last year. She was 31st in the 100-yard back and 42nd in the 200 back at states. As a freshman a season ago, Matich was third on the team in dual-meet scoring. She was the only swimmer aside from Blair to score at the state meet, taking 19th in the 200 fly, 21st in the 100 fly and 24th in the 200 IM. She was also key to Alfred’s relay efforts, swimming on four teams that scored at states. Smith was Alfred’s top diver a year ago and was the team’s second-highest dual-meet scorer. She was 11th and 14th, respectively, in one-meter and three-meter diving at the state meet.

Other returnees include junior Julie Slattery (Binghamton, NY/Seton Catholic) (freestyle/breaststroke) and sophomores Kalla Barranco (Cortland Manor, NY/Hendrick Hudson) (freestyle), Julie Dzikowski (Dansville, NY/Dansville) (freestyle), Katie Ganley (Syracuse, NY/Westhill) (breaststroke), Tracy Miller (Auburn, NY/Auburn) (freestyle/butterfly), Eda Pallumbi (Windham, ME/Cheverus) (freestyle), Ali Garcia (Salt Lake City, UT/Judge Memorial) (diving), Nicole Ramos (Dryden, NY/Dryden) (freestyle) and Shelby Remington (Pike, NY/Letchworth) (backstroke/freestyle).

Remington swam on three relay teams that scored at states and had one dual-meet win during the year. She was 28th in the 400 IM and 43rd in the 200 back and 500 free at states. Ganley was 25th in the 400 IM, 32nd in the 200 breast, and 33rd in the 100 breast, and Palumbi was 30th in the 1,650 free.

Striker welcomes four freshmen to the women’s squad: Heather Remchuk (Hornell, NY/Hornell) (backstroke/freestyle), Rachel Garramone (Evanston, IL/Chicago Waldorf) (freestyle/IM), Lauren Elberty (Flemington, NJ/Hunterdon Regional) (diving), and Paige Citarella (West Islip, NY/West Islip) (backstroke/butterfly).