NYU men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams hosted an invitational meet this weekend at the Palladium Athletic Facility and Coles Sports Center. NYU hosted 10 teams from all three divisions of the NCAA as well as one junior college, including Drexel University, SUNY Delhi and United States Merchant Marine Academy.
The invitational, while not team scored, marked the beginning of the championship season. This invitational will lead into the University Athletic Association championships in Atlanta, Georgia starting this Wednesday. The championships will culminate with the NCAA Division III Championships in March for those who qualify.
During the two day invitational, both the men’s team and women’s team had successful races. The freshmen on the men’s team performed especially well, earning a few first place finishes. Freshman Austin Palmer won the 1650 yard freestyle, 400 yard individual medley and 500 yard freestyle. In addition, the women’s team placed in several events. Sophomores Maia Brearton and Emily Sanders both placed second in their races: 200 yard backstroke and 200 yard breaststroke, respectively. Freshman Annie Driscoll won the 200 yard butterfly and the 200 yard freestyle.
NYU is currently ranked eighth for men and fifth for women in the Collegiate Swimming Coaches Association of America poll and undefeated this season. This home invitational gave the team an opportunity to momentarily celebrate their victories before focusing on the upcoming championships. After months of early morning practices and rigorous workouts, the swimmers’ training will need to adjust for the added rest in between competitions. Freshman Avery Soong elaborated on tapering, just one aspect of the hard work the team has put forth all season.
“Taper is a time of rest and to prepare oneself to compete at their highest potential,” Soong said. “All of us can take confidence that we are in the best possible position to achieve our end goals.”
Soong also expressed the team’s aspirations to win a national championship, and how the high stakes for the upcoming meets translated into this last competition before UAAs.
“Coach Miele says, ‘We are here to win a national championship,’ ” Soong said. “I believe each year we come closer to that. I am confident we will have an impressive showing.”
Soong and the rest of the Violets will enter the pool next at Emory University in Atlanta for the UAA Championships on Feb. 11-14. Their performance there will determine how many Violets will qualify for the NCAA championships, thus determining their chance at a national championship.
A version of this article appeared in the Feb. 9 print edition. Email Anne Cruz at [email protected]