Swimming enters season with returning experience, 15 newcomers

Swimming enters season with returning experience, 15 newcomers

SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University men's and women's swimming teams enter the 2013-14 season hoping to improve on last year's results in the Capital Athletic Conference with returning experience and 15 newcomers.

Head Coach Jill Stephenson brought in a group of promising swimmers this season that she believes will mesh with the returners, giving them a strong opportunity to rebound from last year's finish.

Men's Team

The men's squad kicks off the season with a solid core of returners led by seniors Chris Franklin and James Gough. Franklin placed third-team All-CAC in three different events last season, while Gough earned third-team honors in the 200-medley relay.

Juniors Eric Gillies, Philip Kuldell, Rich Ambrose and sophomore Will Gough look to contribute to the team's success. Gough finished last season third-team All-CAC with his brother, James, and Franklin in the 200-medley relay, as well as Ambrose collecting third-team honors in the 200-free relay and 400-free relay.

With the additions of Okan Eyigor, Travis Maida, Scott Schirmer, and three other freshmen, the men head into the 2013-14 schedule with great expectations.

"We are very excited to see how our new swimmers can add to the returning talent," Stephenson said. "The men's team has set some pretty tough goals for the season and they are all working to make those goals happen."

Women's Team

The women's squad strives to improve on last year's record led by juniors, Brittany Steele and Melissa Alessandrini, and sophomores, Nicki Schult and Andria Moyer.

Steele collected a first-place finish against McDaniel College last season in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:19.01. Schult tallied seven first-place finishes last season in various events. In the Frostburg State University meet, she stole first in all three events raced in: the 200-meter free, 200-meter IM, and 100-meter free.

The addition of Rachel Lisk, Victoria Radcliffe and Layne Gable, along with six other newcomers, will make the Sea Gulls' squad a force to be reckoned with.

"With no seniors on the team, we are relying on juniors Kristina Watts and Emily Campbell to guide the team this season," Stephenson said. "Our newcomers will certainly add to our returning talent and a better finish at the CAC meet."

Schedule

The Sea Gulls open their season on the road at Rowan University on October 22. They travel back home for their next meet against Frostburg State on October 26 for the first conference matchup on the schedule.

SU hosts three meets for the season with Frostburg being the only conference contest. Catholic University of America will travel to Maggs Physical Activities Center on November 2 and McDaniel on January 5, for the remaining two meets.

The CAC Championship will be held at St. Mary's (Md.) College on February 21-23.

"Once again, we have a very challenging schedule for both conference and non-conference competition," Stephenson said. "I think the team is ready for a meet following four and a half weeks of intense training."

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