By Andrea Garcia
During the winter break hiatus, both men’s and women’s swimming and diving took their first strokes of 2017 at their annual week-long training camp. “Training camp was the best work I’ve seen our team do,” said junior distance swimmer Erin McBride. “I 100 percent believe that our performances are a reflection of our team’s attitude and work ethic.”
This past Saturday, the Rams’ work was displayed in the city of brotherly love against Atlantic 10 rivals the University of Richmond Spiders and the La Salle Explorers. The women topped the competition, crushing the Spiders 153-146 and shutting out the Explorers 199-100. However, the Explorers defeated the Fordham Men 212-86.
Women’s Swimming had notable performances by four notable athletes. McBride edged out her competitors in both the 1000m freestyle and 500m freestyle. In the 1000m event, she clocked in at her season-best of 10:43.03, just more than four seconds ahead of Spider Nicole Piercy’s 10:38.54. The first-place finish in the 100m and 200m butterfly events were earned by freshman Mia Bullock, with times of 56.79 and 2:04.51, respectively. Sophomore sprinter Tara Brunner also showed strength in the 100m free, securing her win with a time of 53.15.
On the diving board, junior Wendy Espina-Esquivel dove into the top of the scoreboard with the highest individual performance on the 1m and 3m dives, posting scores of 262.40 and 277.05.
Fordham also dominated the 200m medley relay, with the team of Morgan Fairclough, Gabrielle Celia, Mia Bullock and Theresa Mullen pulling a time of 1:48.31 and shutting out Richmond’s time of 1:49.84. The women also challenged the other teams in the 400m free relay with a time of 3:32.87 with the combined efforts of Brunner, Kalena Laurent, McBride and Mullen.
On the men’s side, freshman Joe Vizza fought for two first place appearances in the 200m and 100m freestyle, clocking in at 1:42.87 and 47.52. In distance action, Liam Semple endured through the 500m freestyle with a winning time of 4:39.96. Semple fell short of first place in the 1000m freestyle, with a second place finish at 9:45.61 behind LaSalle competitor Mattias Glenesk’s 9:35.15. Sophomore Isiah Magsino posted a second place finish in the 100 yard backstroke with a time of 52.36, 2.04 second behind LaSalle’s Fabian Bergman. Greg Lombana was bested by LaSalle’s Jakub Bartosiewicz in the 200 yard butterfly, 1:53.97 to a first place finish of 1:53.69, a mere 0.28 seconds.
The Rams will travel again on Wednesday, Jan. 25 to challenge Iona College at 5 p.m and then return home to face UMass on Saturday, Jan. 27.
After these next two meets, both the men’s and women’s squads will be sending individual athletes to the Atlantic 10 Conference championships.