Swimming and Diving: 2009-2010 season preview

Men’s swimming and diving

Underclassmen will prove key for the Tribe, as Director of Swimming and Head Coach Matt Crispino leads a talented, but young squad into the 2009-2010 season.

Last season’s 4th place conference finish set the bar high for this year’s squad, which currently stands 3-1 after a close loss to Old Dominion over the weekend. Seeking to build on their previous success, Crispino said the team’s main goal is to place in the top three at CAA championships. However, the Tribe will face stiff competition from perennial contenders Delaware, Old Dominion and UNC-Willimington. Individually, Crispino hopes to see a male swimmer qualify to compete at the NCAA championships in March, a feat not accomplished since the 1980’s.

Expectations are high for a versatile batch of incoming freshman Crispino described as “the most talented class in a decade.” These newcomers, together with a strong set of sophomores, have already made a significant splash; 11 of the 12 events won by the Tribe in an Oct. 10 dual meet against Towson were by underclassmen. Through just four meets, freshman Hunter Perrot has compiled 5 individual victories and, against ODU, sophomore Stephen Fay managed to earn victories in the 200, 500 and 1650-meter freestyle.

Crispino also mentioned Kevin Gallagher as another standout the Tribe will look to after the departure of last season’s stars Shawn Matthews and David Mangini. Gallagher, whose time of 45.22 in the 100-meter freestyle is the school record, headlines a sprinting corps that has already amassed multiple victories in both the 200 and 400-meter freestyle relays.

Next up on the schedule for the Tribe is the Terrapin Cup, hosted by Maryland Nov. 19 through the 21.

Women’s swimming and diving

After two consecutive second place finishes, the Tribe enters the 2009-2010 season poised to take aim at their first CAA title since 2007.

Currently 5-1 following a sweep of Old Dominion, James Madison, and Northeastern over the weekend, the veteran-dominated squad seeks to challenge last year’s champion Towson and earn Head Coach and Director of Swimming Matt Crispino his first conference title with the College. Seventeen-time CAA champion and Olympic Trials Qualifier Katie Radloff headlines a deep squad that combines both experience and talented youth.

“Katie is the best swimmer, male or female, ever to go through W&M,” said Crispino.

A two-time CAA Swimmer of the Year, Radloff set the Tribe record for most individual dual-meet victories at 80 this past weekend with victories in the 50, 100 and 200 meter freestyle.

Alongside Radloff, fellow senior and sprint freestyler Lindsay Guers seeks to leave William and Mary with a conference title. A transfer from Florida State, Guers’s times in the 100 and 200 meter freestyle stand second all-time in school history.

All of this figures in to what ought to be one of Tribe women’s swimming’s most memorable seasons.

“This is the strongest team in the history of the program,” Crispino said.

In addition to entertaining championships goals, Crispino noted that he hopes to have multiple swimmers and relays join Radloff to compete at the NCAA Championships in March.


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