AU Press Releases

AU swimming and diving teams look to come back strong

ALFRED, NY - The Alfred University will try to rebound from a 2010-11 campaign that saw the Saxon men’s and women’s team place sixth and 11th place in at the state championship meet and fourth and fifth, respectively, at the Empire 8 Conference championships.

Both teams lost some of their top performers from a year ago. The men graduated three of its top five dual-meet points scorers, including Tyler Olsen, runner-up in the 100 freestyle at the state meet; the women lost four-year standout freestyler Sarah Blair, the school record-holder in the 50 free. But both also return a healthy core of talented athletes who will be joined by some solid new recruits.

Head coach Brian Striker’s men’s team returns much of their depth, despite the losses of Olsen, butterflyer Zach Mix, and distance freestyler Matt Lobban. A trio of returnees - sophomore Peter Sowinski (Akron, NY/Akron) (freestyle), junior Nate Chapman (Hornell, NY/Hornell) (freestyle) and senior Warren Dolben (Rye, NH/Berwick Academy) (breaststroke/individual medley) ranked third, fourth and sixth, respectively, in scoring last season as the Saxons went 5-3 in dual meets. They will be expected to improve on their performances while taking on greater leadership roles.

Other key returnees includes sophomore Kyle Kraeger (Henrietta, NY/Rush-Henrietta) (backstroke) juniors Brett Irwin (Springwater, NY/Wayland-Cohocton), a butterflyer who will be counted on to help take over for Mix, and Tyler Puls (Rochester, NY/Harley School) (freestyle); seniors Jeff Swartout (Binghamton, NY/Chenango Valley) (breaststroke), Richard Guarniero (Utica, NY/Thomas R. Proctor) (backstroke), Vince Pascarella (Bradford, PA/Bradford) (freestyle) and Rich Lenihan (Warwick, NY/Warwick Valley (freestyle).

Sowinksi (11th in the 50 free; 12th in the 100 free), Dolben (eighth, 100 breast; 14th, 200 IM); Kraeger (13th, 100 back), and Irwin (18th, 100 fly) are the leading returning performers from last years championship meets. Chapman (20th, 500 free; 21st, 1,650 free), Guarniero (21st, 100 back); and Swartout (19th, 200 IM; 20th, 200 breast), also scored at the UNYSCSA meet.

Sophomores Tyler Diesenberg (Avon, NY/Avon) (freestyle), Yair Lazar (Teaneck, NJ/Teaneck), Zach Kranefeld (Millville, NJ/Millville) (diving) and Terry Soto (Mt. Morris, NY/Mt. Morris) (breaststroke/butterfly) add depth.

Striker welcomes a group of nine freshmen recruits that will be counted on to step in and contribute right away. Newcomers include Aarron Bennett (White Plains, NY) (free/back/fly), Jeffrey Castellano (Fairport, NY/Fairport) (diving), David Coombs Jr. (Dansville, NY/Dansville) (free/back), Daniel Hamilton (free), David Luke (Ocala, FL/West Port) (free), Benjamin Rehberg (Pittsford, NY/Pittsford Sutherland) (free/fly), Joseph Rogers (Dublin, NH) (free), Jeffrey Rowland (Rochester, NY/Hilton) (free/breast), and Zachary Toth (Lockport, NY/Starpoint) (IM/fly).

The Saxon women lost only three seniors from a team that went 3-6 in dual meets a season ago. While AU will miss the contributions of Blair - sixth in the 50 free and 100 breast; 21st in 100 free at states - as well as fellow 2011 graduates Calista Merritt (21st in 1,650 free at states) and Cailin Asmo, a core of returnees will have a chance to take their place.
Key veterans on the women’s team include senior Donna Hoops (Geneseo, NY/Geneseo) (backstroke), and juniors Eryn Matich (Johnson City, NY/Johnson City) (fly/IM), Katie Ganley (Syracuse, NY/Westhill) (IM/fly) and Shelby Remington (Pike, NY/Letchworth) (back).

Hoops was 11th in the 100 back and 24th in the 200 back at states and was fifth on the team in dual-meet scoring in 2010-11; Matich, who has scored at both UNYSCSA meets in her career, was 24th in both the 100 fly and 400 IM at last year’s championships and is the team’s leading returning dual-meet scorer; Ganley was 21st in the 200 fly; and Remington was 24th in the 1,650 free.

Sophomore Heather Remchuk (Hornell, NY/Hornell) (breast/free) will look to build on a successful freshman campaign that saw her place 10th in the 100 breast and finish third on the team in dual-meet scoring.

Other returnees to the women’s team are sophomore Paige Citarella (West Islip, NY/West Islip) (back/fly), and junior freestylers Tracy Miller (Auburn, NY/Auburn) and Edlira Pallumbi (Windham, ME/Cheverus). Citarella (seven runner-up finishes) was seventh in dual-meet scoring last year, while Pallumbi (two dual-meet wins) was 10th and Miller 14th.

Newcomers to the Lady Saxons are freshmen Christina Behr (Manahawkin, NJ/Southern Regional) (free/IM), Molly Blair (Auburn, NY/Auburn) (free), Allison Derwallis (Fairfield, CT/Fairfield Ludlow) (back), Alyssa Fuller (Alfred Station, NY/Alfred-Almond) (free/back), and Mary Hannafin (Storrs, CT/Edwin O. Smith) (fly).

AU opens its dual-meet season with the men and women travelling to Pittsford, NY, to take on Empire 8 foe Nazareth at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22.