Following a big break, the swim team returns to action

By Samuel Brouwere

Sports Reporter

The Griffs’ swim team is continuing to improve every day. The season for the Griffs is at the midway point. The men’s team has one win this season, whereas the women’s team hasn’t won yet.

When asked about the season Head Coach Scott Vanderzell said, “I feel like they are performing pretty well. We’ve had a good progression throughout the course of the year, as we’ve been battling through some injuries and sickness, but overall we keep getting better and better every week. So we’re really happy about that.”

So far there are swimmers on the men’s team that are performing really well. Coach Vanderzell pointed out swimmers on the men’s team that he has been impressed by saying, “My freshman class has done really well coming in and stepping right into it. I look at Dan Dirrigl, Tommy Kirch, Greg Staebell and that sophomore class have done a really nice job. We also have good leadership with Christian Westermeier and Wyatt Sintay that have continued to move the men’s team along.”

In the last meet against rival St. Bonaventure, sophomore Greg Staebell won the men’s 200-yard backstroke with a time of (1:54.78). Fellow sophomore Tommy Kirch won the men’s-200 yard IM with a time of (1:59.57). Junior Wyatt Sintay won the men’s 200-yard breaststroke with a time of (2:09.86). Also Dan Dirrigl, Tommy Kirch, Cam MacDonald, and Gustavo dos Santos won the men’s 400-yard freestyle relay with a final time of (3:14.58). For the men’s diving team, Travis Wright finished in first place for the men’s one meter.

Sophomore Dan Dirrigl is a swimmer that has performed really well in his second season. Dirrigl has performed particularly well in the men’s 100-yard butterfly event this season. In the meet against Geneseo, Dirrigl won the event with a time of (52.71). In the following meet against Colgate, Dirrigl was again victorious in the event, as he finished with a time of (52.49). This victory in the event helped the men’s team come out victorious over Colgate.

When asked about his individual progress this season Dirrigl said, “I’m happy with how I am doing this season, I started off really well this year, and I like the position that I’m in so far in the MAAC.”

On the women’s team there’s also swimmers that are performing really well. Coach Vanderzell pointed out swimmers on the women’s team that he has been impressed by saying, “Hannah Graesser is doing a great job. There is also good senior leadership from Clare Battaglia, Alex Doody, and Alicia Wheeler.”  

In the meet against St. Bonaventure, junior Hannah Graesser performed well. She won the women’s 50-yard freestyle with a time of (24.99) and finished second in the women’s 100-yard freestyle with a time of (54.24). Also in the meet, Rebecca Anthone, Clare Battaglia, Cassie Brousseau, and Alex Doody won the women’s 400-yard freestyle relay with a final time of (3:47.26). For the women’s diving team, Vivian Mroz finished in first place for the women’s three meter.

The Griffs will be putting the St. Bonaventure loss behind them, as they have about a month break before their next meet on December 18 against the Cleveland State Vikings.

When asked how the month between meets has helped his team Coach Vanderzell said, “It’s letting us get healthy, so it’s helping us rest our bodies a little bit and get through some of the sickness that we have.” Dirrigl views the break between meets as, “Week after weeks of meets just takes a toll on you, which is a lot of stress. The weeks off that we’ve had have been great, it’s given us a chance to recover a little better, think about the little things that we need to work on, and just gives us a chance to get better.”

The records might not show it, but the Griffs are performing well this season, and they definitely should have some confidence moving forward. When asked about the confidence level of his team sophomore Dirrigl said, “We’re all really confident, we’ve all been swimming well in the past couple practices, and everyone is just trying to perform the best that they can. We just want to get out there and win a MAAC Championship.”

The Griffs’ next meet against the Vikings will be a good test for the Griffs. In this meet the Griff athletes have an opportunity to show what they have worked on throughout their break and that they are a strong team.

When asked about the meet against the Vikings Coach Vanderzell said, “I’m looking forward to it. It’s right after exams, so we will see where our minds are at that point. It will be a good benchmark for us leading into the second half of the season.” The Griffs have the right confidence level at this time of year and hope continue to perform well, and add some wins, against the Vikings.

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