Posted by Jesse Shayne
After last year's seasons that would look sub-par on paper to most, Skidmore's Men's and Women's swimming and diving teams are looking to improve this year.
The men's team went 2-6 last year, beating Vassar and Utica, while the women's team went 1-7, beating Utica. However, the records do not show the whole story.
"The team has always been more focused on the championships and end of season times. Dual meets are more of a stepping stone...If you look at the record and see 2 and 7 you think it's not very good, but we lack depth and a core foundation and we are working toward that," Peter Quattromani '14 said.
Skidmore's teams lacked quantity last season, and while they did not lack quality, having such small teams made it difficult to compete against larger schools.
"There are some teams that are huge so no matter how well we swim we could not beat them, especially at the big meets where there are so many teams. We try to compete against teams that are similar to us," said captain Carrie Kosch '13, who was the women's team MVP last season.
While the dual meet records may not indicate success, the teams did set a lot of records and improve on times.
"I think swimming is an individual sport so we are looking for as much progress as an athlete can make over the season...[last season's] dropoffs were outstanding and the college breaking 15 records shows our hard work paying off," said Coach Jill Greenleaf, who will be entering her 10th season at the helm of the Thoroughbreds.
Only one senior graduated from the women's team last year and two from the men's team. This season the women's team has seven new members, six freshmen and one sophomore, and the men's team has five new members, four freshmen and one sophomore.
While Head Coach Greenleaf is returning to complete a decade at Skidmore, the diving team has a new coach. "Our old diving coach retired last year, so that made it hard to recruit new younger divers," Coach Greenleaf said.
Neither diver from the men's team will be returning this year because one graduated and one is away for the year. While there are no freshmen divers joining either team, Doug Pilawa '12 will be returning from a year abroad to improve upon his 2009-2010 season in which he was the Liberty League diver of the year and qualified for nationals, and Kristen Stearns '13 and Krista Pelton '14 will be returning for the women's team after successful seasons last year.
"All three will be able to compete at the top of the conference this year," Greenleaf said.
Both teams have an identical schedule to last year. They will be starting out against St. Lawrence tomorrow, Saturday Oct. 22, and finishing the dual meet season against RPI Jan. 28.