The team lost several key swimmers to graduation, however they have added nine first-years and a sophomore transfer to their roster. Among them, CJ Holmes ’09 is sure to make a splash as a strong, all-around swimmer. Christian Witzke ’09 is hoped to buoy the team’s depth in the 200-yard and long distance freestyle events, while first-years Chris Resler and Joe Scala will come in handy in the sprint events. “I believe this year’s freshman class is the best addition to our team since I’ve been here,” said Estacio.
With a year of swimming at Bucknell University under his belt, Andrew Maslan ’08 also shows incredible potential. Junior Ed Hagerty and senior Dan Savage also add depth to the team’s potential.
After finishing fourth in the 400-yard individual medley and seventh in the 200-yard butterfly at last year’s NCAA Div. III Championship, Ethan Treat ’07 is expected to again lead the junior class. Additionally, classmate John Ancona returns after posting third- and fifth-place finishes in the 100-and 200-yard breaststroke events at the NESCAC Championship last year.
Estacio looks to continue his success after placing eighth and 13th nationally last season in the 100- and 200-yard backstroke events. Gonnella is sure to be a strong leader both in and out of the pool, and Lewkowitz will make his mark in the long-distance competitions. On the diving board, Connor Boyd ’08 returns after his sixth-place NESCAC finish in his rookie season.
Possibly the two biggest dual meets to watch this season will be at home against Middlebury College on Dec. 3 and against Williams College on Jan. 7. “We are looking to avenge our losses last year against both NES-
CAC rivals,” said Lewkowitz.
In the long run, the Jeffs hope to regain the Little Three Championship title that the seniors won their rookie and sophomore campaigns.
The Jeffs hope to send more swimmers and divers than ever before to the NCAA Div. III Championships. “A lot of swimmers are on the cusp of qualifying,” said Estacio.
The season begins on Saturday at Colby College, followed by an away meet at Wesleyan University.
“Our team is working hard and with eight practices per week we are getting back into shape very quickly,” said Lewkowitz. “[We] are excited to see how the [first-years] fare, especially to watch Witzke challenge the 2004-05 NESCAC Champion distance freestyler Ben Byers [Wesleyan].”
Estacio added, “We will definitely be ready to swim fast against both Colby and Wesleyan in the next two weeks.”
This season, Williams College will be the NESCAC team to beat. The Ephs won the NESCAC Championships for the third-straight year and took fourth-place in the NCAA Div. III Championship last year. This season, they boast returning two-time national champion Will Cunningham in the 100-yard backstroke and have filled out their roster with a number of talented freshmen. Middlebury College, who finished in second-just ahead of Amherst-at NESCACs, is sure to stir up the competition throughout the season.