BABSON PARK, Mass.—After posting its most dual-meet victories since 2002 and tallying its most points at the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Championships over the last five years, the Babson College men's swimming & diving program is looking to build on its success in 2018-19.
BUILDING THE ENGINE
Beavers' head coach Kristy Martin, who enters her third season at the helm, returns nine swimmers from a team that finished sixth at the conference meet after going 10-5 in dual-meet competition last winter. The Green and White set four program records last year, two of which came at the conference meet, where it finished just 20 points out of fifth place.
On a roster where 12 of the 17 athletes are in their first or second year with the program, seniors Adam Kershner (Scottsdale, Ariz.) and Kenneth Mun (Hacienda Heights, Calif.) will be looked upon to provide leadership for a young squad. Kershner, a two-time NEWMAC Academic All-Conference honoree, recorded career-best times in three events at the league meet last year, while Mun qualified for a pair of B finals at the conference championships in addition to earning his second consecutive NEWMAC Academic All-Conference award last winter.
CHASING DOWN RECORDS
Junior Alex Damiecki (Centerville, Mass.) set three individual records and was part of another program mark in the 200-yard medley relay last season. He owns records in the 100 IM, 50-yard butterfly and 100-yard butterfly, and touched the wall first in 18 races during dual-meet competition last year.
STAMINA AND SPEED
Junior Jack Lucero (Huntington Beach, Calif.) came in first in 20 dual-meet races last year while competing in the distance freestyle and individual medley events. He also posted three top-10 finishes at the NEWMAC Championships as he placed sixth in the 1650 free, eighth in the 500 free and ninth in the 400 IM. Classmate Michael Cerny (Windsor, Conn.) recorded five top-three results while competing primarily in the 50 and 100 free and the 100-yard butterfly.
TRUST THE PROCESS
The sophomore quartet of Lachlan Dibbayawan (Bangkok, Thailand), Kevin Luu (Malden, Mass.), Connor O'Brien (Tempe, Ariz.) and Taras Polakoff (Orange County, Calif.) will all look to build upon strong rookie campaigns this winter. Dibbayawan and Luu, who both recorded a pair of season-best times at the NEWMAC meet, were a part of the Beavers' school record in the 200 medley relay. O'Brien reach the B final in three different events at the conference championships, while Polakoff qualified for the B final in the 100- and 200-yard backstroke events at NEWMACs.
In addition to Babson's four sophomores, Martin and her staff have brought in eight first-year swimmers that are looking to contribute to the success of the program immediately. The Beavers' first-year class features athletes from five different states, including three from California, two from Connecticut and one apiece from Massachusetts, New Jersey and New Mexico.
NEWMAC COACHES MAKE THEIR PICKS
The Green and White was picked to finish sixth when the league released its annual preseason coaches' poll on Wednesday.
READY, SET, GO
The Beavers begin the season on Saturday at home against UMass Dartmouth and will compete on four of the next five weekends between October 27-December 2. Following a break for exams and the holidays, the team kicks off a stretch of four meets in nine days on January 10.