2009-10 Swimming Preview: Garnet Men Look to Take the Next Step
SWARTHMORE, Pa. - With the return of several medalists at last season's Centennial Conference Championships, as well one of the most talented collections of first-years in program history, the 2009-10 Swarthmore College men's swimming squad in 2009-10 could have what it takes to become the first team in program history to win the Centennial Conference Championship.
Much of the optimism stems from the conclusion of the 2008-09 season, which saw the Garnet collect 13 medals at the Conference Championship meet while finishing second overall (686.5 points) for the third consecutive season. Head coach Sue Davis returns for her 26th season, turning to seniors Michael Ahn, Danny Friel, Kyle Skolfield and Reid Wilkening to lead the charge towards a championship.
A pair of medal-winning juniors - Sterling Satterfield and Santiago Lombo – return this season as two of the most feared swimmers in the entire conference and are a big reason why the Garnet can think big this season. Satterfield won three individual medals in breaststroke and individual medley events, including a silver in the 200 breaststroke (he broke the school record with a time of 2:06.98) at last year's Centennial championships, while Lombo placed in the top final in several backstroke and butterfly events.
Several returning sophomores made an immediate impact their freshman year and will be looking to do even more in 2009-10. Lance Liu led the way with a school record in the 100 breaststroke among several other top times on the team. Sam Bullard-Sisken placed well in backstroke and butterfly and Dante Fuoco provided points in the individual medley. Relays, a vital part of meets, are also expected to perform well for the Garnet this season. Three of four members return from some of the fastest relays in school history (including school records in the 400 medley and 400 freestyle relays). Watch for Lombo, Satterfield, and Bullard-Sisken in the medley and Ahn, Neil Palmer (Tecumseh, Mich.), and Tim Brevart in the freestyle.
Coach Davis and her coaching staff brought in 11 fresh faces this season from all over the country—from local Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey to places like California, Missouri, and North Carolina. Since there are more first-years than juniors and seniors combined, they will be expected to provide depth to the squad, a key to gaining points in meets.
Swarthmore faces a challenging start to the season—the first three dual meets are all away, starting with a November 4th meet at local-rival Widener at 6:00 p.m. The Garnet will settle down after the first three meets, though, not leaving the comfort of Ware Pool until February. Highlights of the home season include the inaugural Swarthmore Invitational December 4-5. Swarthmore opens the Centennial Conference dual meet schedule on November 7 at 2:00 p.m. with a visit to McDaniel.