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Swim teams prepare to dive into playoffs

By Luke Mich

With PAC Championships approaching, both the SVC men’s and women’s swim teams have been hard at work.

“We’ve had a good year, [they’ve been] swimming pretty fast and training really well,” Head Coach Josh Gurekovich said.

A Saint Vincent swimmer in action in the Jan. 17 meet against Chatham. Both teams won the dual meet; the women’s team won 176 to 103, and the men’s team won 77 to 21. (Source: SVC Athletics)

Gurekovich stated that he was pleasantly surprised by both teams thus far this season.

“[On the women’s team], the group of freshmen women have done really well, and have challenged the upperclassmen to be at their best. On the men’s side, we’ve had a lot of good swims from the junior class, especially Zach Baum,” Gurekovich said.

Baum, he said, made the NCAA qualifier cut at the Franklin & Marshall invitation back in Nov. 2019 with a meet record time of 48.69 in the 100-yard butterfly.

The men’s swim team roster photo. As of Jan. 21, they are 3-4 overall with a 3-1 record in conference play. (Source: SVC Athletics)

Baum said he is very pleased with how the season is going for him and the team.

“After our midseason performance at Franklin & Marshall and our training trip in Florida, I think that our team is in the greatest condition that I’ve ever seen. As for myself, I’m in the best condition that I’ve ever been,” he stated.

He is also excited for what’s to come.

“Swimming lifetime bests at midseason says a lot about how the season is going to turn out,” he said.

Baum stated that he has high aspirations for himself and the team, and he believes the season is going to turn out great for everyone.

“I have no doubt in my mind about that,” he said. “I only have one goal and that’s to make it on the podium at NCAA [Championships], but first I have to perform at PAC [Championships] and do my best to set the bar and get the team fired up.”

Claire Kenna, a senior swimmer who participates in the individual medley, explained that Coach Gurekovich has worked hard to make a training schedule that fits with how each individual swimmer trains.

“He is really accommodating to how our bodies are feeling during the season,” she stated.

“The season is going to turn out great for everyone. I have no doubt in my mind about that.” - Zach Baum

In regard to team setbacks this season, Gurekovich explained that injuries were a factor for the women’s team. With this obstacle, he has had to adapt, such as when two women were out the same week of the Jan.18 meet against Chatham.

“Having not as many people to work with each week makes it a little more challenging, [because having] to find people to swim events [they aren’t used to] may be uncomfortable,” Gurekovich said.

He added that confidence, positivity, and health are what the players on the teams need to maintain and focus on in preparation for the big meet.

The women’s swim team roster photo. Like the men’s team, they have a 3-1 conference record (as of Jan. 21), good enough for third place in the PAC. (Source: SVC Athletics)

Noah Schollaert, a freshmen swimmer who does the butterfly, stated that the team is doing really well as a whole.

“[All] we need to do is keep our positive vibes with training and we will see amazing results at the PAC championships,” he said.

The men’s and women’s swimming teams have their next meet in Erie, PA on Friday, Jan. 31, the last meet before PAC Championships on Thursday, Feb. 13.


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