Fordham Swimming got off to a highly anticipated, exciting start this past weekend. Entering the first weekend of meets, senior swimmer Steve Sholdra was confident that the team was already in great condition for the start of this year, and he is sure that the team will continue to put in “the hard work and diligence necessary to succeed this upcoming season.”
Junior Megan Polaha was also looking forward to an “exciting new season, as [the team] has brought in 20 new teammates.” Sholdra echoed Polaha’s excitement regarding the freshman class as he believes that “they’ve really brought a great attitude and vibe to our team already,” by creating “a great team atmosphere.”
Both Sholdra and Polaha’s statements were verified this past weekend as Fordham Swimming began its season with two consecutive successful meets. To start off the weekend of swimming, the Rams came away with a victory on both the men’s and women’s sides over Marist College at the McCann Natatorium on Thursday.
After losing to Marist last year, the Fordham men’s team came back with a vengeance and beat the Marist Red Foxes 135-109. The Rams were carried by Steve Sholdra, who started off his season dominantly with three individual first place finishes. Sholdra took first place in the 1,000-yd freestyle, the 500-yd freestyle, and the 200-yd breaststroke.
“It [was] amazing to have our team get back-to-back wins to start the year,” Sholdra said. “[It’s] thanks to the hard training we’ve been doing both in and out of the pool.”
Fordham men’s swimmers Chris Viera, Isiah Magsino and Miguel Mattox also worked to first place finishes in the 200-yd butterfly, 200-yd individual medley and the 200-yd backstroke, respectively.
The women’s team got off to a great start as well on Thursday as they toppled the Red Foxes with a score of 163-80. The women’s victory was spearheaded by junior Megan Polaha and senior Shannon Lulley. Polaha finished first in the 200-yd individual medley and the 200-yd butterfly, and was part of the winning 400-yd Medley relay team. Individually, Lully finished first in the 100-yd freestyle, 50-yd freestyle, and was a part of the winning 400-yd freestyle relay.
On Friday, the Rams carried over their strong performance from the Thursday meet and continued to dominate the pool against both Fairfield University and Monmouth at the Col. Francis B. Messmore Aquatics Center as the men’s team beat Farfield 166.5-115.5 and toppled Monmouth with a score of 178-55.
The Rams, with a very strong performance, came to first place finishes in 12 of the 16 events Friday evening and were once again led by Steve Sholdra, who placed first in the 1,000-yd freestyle, the 200-yd butterfly and the 400-yd individual medley.
Sophomore Chris Viera and freshman Isiah Magsino also had strong outings, mimicking their performances from the night before as they both worked their ways to first place victories. Liam Semple, John Furlong, Thomas Shetler, Rhett Karopoulos and Jack Madigan had first place finishes as well.
The Fordham women’s team out-performed the visiting Stags and Hawks on all cylinders Friday night after winning all 16 events.
The Rams’ victories over both Fairfield and Monmouth were great team wins as all of the swimmers contributed to the victories. twelve different women worked their way to first place finishes while Kalena Laurent, Natalie Malicki and Wendy Espina-Esquivel came away with two individual wins each.
The women finished the night with a 162-121 victory over Fairfield and a dominating 168-45 score over Monmouth.
Looking ahead, the Rams are “looking forward to another fast season,” Steve Sholdra said.
Agreeing with Sholdra, Megan Polaha looks “to improve, on both sides, [their] finishes at their Atlantic 10 conference meet in February.”
Although February is still far off, the women’s team (3-0) looks to continue their success this Friday, Oct. 30 against Army West Point and the men (3-0) wait until Saturday, Nov. 7 to take on Boston University in Boston.