WRITTEN BY MARIÓN ALTAMIRANO ALANÍS
The St. Francis College Swim team is planning to take the 2011-2012 season by storm. With two-a-day practices and new recruits from all over the world, the Terriers are more prepared than ever. Junior Captain Paige Hardy said: “This year we have many new people with great talent that will definitely contribute in a big way to this team.”
The swim team practices twice a day and has swim meets on the weekends.
Sophomore breast-stroke swimmer Alana Hernandez expects that the team will perform very well, and the team’s goals are already high.
Hernandez said: “We have a few new girls, Ryenn Lyons from Hawaii, who can swim just about anything, and if you add that the work-outs are more intense, I think we will be performing at a higher level this year compared to last.”
The men’s swim team also has two freshmen international reinforcements, Jon Pepaj from Albania and Gareth Livingstone from South Africa.
Pepaj said: “The team is pretty good, but as an individual I expect to break the 50m free record this season and I am also very focused on the conference meet. I see the regular meets as practice for my ultimate goal.”
Aside from his individual expectations and goals, Livingstone plans on contributing to the team as much as possible.
Livingstone said: “I expect to break the 50m and the 100m free as well as the fly college record this season. Also, I would like to provide a better team spirit and become captain one day.”
Although swimming is an individual sport, the team comes first. This year’s swim team is composed of a very diverse group of people.
There are swimmers from all over the world including Albania, Canada, Hungary, Mexico, Poland, Serbia, and South Africa, as well as the United States.
Hernandez said: “It is cool to be with people from other countries. It creates a very positive environment. It is always important to know where other people come from and how their life is different from yours.”
A number of new recruits are familiar with the concept of team diversity.
Freshman Ryenn Lyons said: “Coming from Hawaii, there are many different people with different backgrounds. The difference on this team is the countries. I personally like it because even though you are swimming you get a mini-culture lesson at the same time”.
As for team unity, the Terriers seem to have no problem.
Hernandez said: “We have more of a family vibe this year, which is totally due to the new people we have this year together with the returning swimmers.”
This Saturday October 29, the Terriers will swim in their first Conference meet against the Iona Gaels, Wagner College and Sacred Heart University at Iona College in New Rochelle, NY at 9:00 am.