Swimming takes 3rd at AMCC tournament

By Laura Hancq
February 22, 2011

The Cabrini men’s and women’s swimming teams both placed third out of four teams at the Alleghany Mountain Collegiate Conference Championships after three days of competition ending on Saturday, Feb. 19. The Cavaliers traveled to Grove City College in Pittsburgh, Pa., to compete in their first ever AMCC Championship against Penn State-BehrendPenn State-Altoona and Pitt- Bradford.

Breaghann Smith, Emily Yurick, Lauren Sliva and Rachel Schmid, swimmers of the 200 and 400 yard medley proudly show off their third place medals that they won in their first ever AMCC tournament.

“It was very exciting to compete in this meet,” Neil Gogno, junior breaststroke/freestyle, said. “There were a lot of fast swimmers, good races and the atmosphere overall was amazing. It really adds another level to the program to have a championship meet like this to compete in at the end of the season.”

The men tallied a score of 87.5 points, which was enough to defeat Penn State-Altoona (69) and to earn third place behind Pitt-Bradford (172.5) and Penn State-Behrend (356).

The men’s 400-yard freestyle relay team earned fifth place at the AMCC Championship with a time of 3:16.34, which qualified them for a spot in the regional Eastern College Athletic Conference Championships, hosted by the University of Pittsburgh from Friday, Feb. 25 through Sunday, Feb. 27.

The relay consists of three seniors, Bill Boylan, Matthew McGuriman and Kyle Teliszewski, as well as freshman Rocco Del Monte. This will be the first time the Cavs will be represented at the ECAC Championships.

“The boys 400 free relay was definitely the most memorable event as it was the team’s first ever ECAC qualifying time,” Emily Yurick, senior breaststroke, said.

The Lady Cavs also had a strong performance in the 400-yard freestyle at Grove City. The team consists of Yurick, freshmen Lauren Schmid and Breaghann Smith, and junior Lauren Sliva. They earned sixth place with a time of 3:53.96.

Yurick also had impressive performances in her other events, including placing 11th in the 100-yard breaststroke and 13th in the 200-yard breaststroke, with her times being 1:11.89 and 2:40.64 respectively.

Behind Yurick, the women were able to tally a total score of 150 points and defeat Pitt-Bradford (101). They came in third behind Penn-State Altoona (183) and Penn-State Behrend (283).

“Finally having a conference championship was a big stepping stone for Cabrini,” Lisa Somers, senior freestyle, said. “I know this team has been working really hard to get placed in a conference and finally getting into one is a huge accomplishment.”

Matt McGuriman, Kyle Teliszewski, Rocco Del Monte and Bill Boylan made the first ECAC tournament in Cabrini College swimming history for the 400 freestyle relay race.

Despite the fact that Penn-State Behrend placed first by a very high margin of points in both the men and women’s tournaments, many members of the swim team believe that all of the competition was fierce and it was a great experience to be up against teams of such a high caliber.

The women’s team will be losing three seniors this year including, Somers and Yurick, as well as Katie Bonanni, freestyle. The men will be saying goodbye to five seniors including, Boylan, McGuriman and Teliszewski, as well as Ben Nanna and Joshua Prown, both freestyle. This will only leave two current members on the current men’s roster, Del Monte and Gogno.

“Next year will be interesting since we are losing almost half the team, but I think this year is a huge stepping stone,” Sliva said. “It’s still a very young program and it’s growing each year.”

For the seniors, this championship meet was a great way to end their careers. Somers said that this meet reminded her why she loves swimming so much in the first place because of all the support the teams were given and how fun it was.

“I don’t think the senior class could have asked for a better way to finish our swimming careers,” Yurick said. “Since freshman year we have all been looking forward to having a conference meet and sending swimmers to the ECAC meet. It was really great to achieve our team and individual goals together at the final meet.”

It will be a challenge to move forward with so many of the influential seniors graduating, but hopefully the performances in Grove City as well as the ECAC Championships are just a sign of the good things to come for Cabrini swimming.

“I’ll miss being part of the team and look forward to hearing of their accomplishments and keeping in touch with my Cabrini swimming family,” Somers said.

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Laura Hancq

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