Both the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams of Drexel will return to the pool Jan. 14 after their break from action. The two teams will travel to Delaware for a Saturday afternoon meet against the University of Delaware squad, with the women also set to swim against Northeastern University on Saturday.
Some Dragons stayed in the pool over break, however. Over the Dec. 2-4 weekend, four Drexel swimmers competed in the U.S. National Championships. Alex Galinskiy, Gregory Oprendek and Andrew Reimon represented the men’s team swimming in the event, and Lauren Faykes participated from the women’s team.
The trio of swimmers covered four separate men’s events representing Drexel. Galinskiy finished the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:54.79 to grab 60th place while Oprendek swam the 100 breaststroke in 1:06.08, good enough for 78th in that event. On the second day of the event, Reimon swam in the 200 breaststroke in 2:23.00, and Oprendek also competed and finished with a time of 2:25.71 to take 49th and 67th.
Finally, Faykes took 71st place in the 200 fly event with a time of 2:22.37. But Faykes made an accomplishment just by entering the pool. The junior became the first-ever swimmer from the Drexel women’s team to compete in the U.S. National Championship in school history.
The accomplishment provided excitement over break, not just over Faykes’ accomplishment, but what it says about the Dragons’ swimming program.
“We are very excited about this accomplishment,” head coach Shawn Markey said. “This is the beginning of what we expect to see from our growing and prospering program.”
The break also saw Stephen Cal competing in the 2012 Georgia Diving Invitational Jan. 3. Cal took 31st place in the 1-meter preliminary round after scoring 209.90.
Looking ahead as the calendar flipped to 2012, the men’s team will attempt to maintain its strong start from 2011 into the new year. The men’s team is off to a 4-0 start. The early success this season is what Markey hopes to highlight and continue in the remainder of the year.
Their success can be attributed to their intense training, which includes more dry land and cross training to keep their interest and motivation high. This motivation and energy, he says, is a factor to the team’s success. It will come in handy as they continue their challenging schedule and work toward being in a position to thrive in the Colonial Athletic Association Championships. The schedule has the men’s team competing in four meets over the next three weekends.
“The next month will be hard, but as long as the team can keep bringing their passion and energy to each and every practice, we are looking for a very successful end-of-season meet with many best times and records broken,” Markey explained.
With a 4-0 start, it’s hard to imagine the team’s energy, passion and interest not being present. Look for them Jan. 14 to see how anxious they are to get back in the pool in a competitive format after the long break. With a CAA matchup looming against conference rival Delaware, expect the passion and interest to be there.