The win of the season with the loss that gained Dolphin pride
By Victoria Priola
CSI’s men’s swim team knocked Pace University out of the water with a score of 132-75 while the women took a loss at their first group meet of the season at the CSI pool. As of October 23, the Lady Dolphins, who rank third place in the CUNYAC Championship, are motivated now more than ever to compete and defend their title after recieving a losing score of 67-130 against Pace.
Pace had eleven swimmers on their team, but it was CSI that came up short. In races such as the 50 yard freestyle and 100 yard breaststroke the Lady Dolphins and Pace were neck to neck but third place points won Pace a lead in the meet.
The Lady Dolphins were not going to hand Pace the win easily. The divers of the team perfected their form and racked in extra points for the team. With the exclusion of one fumble off the board by a Lady Dolphin, diving was the strong point in the meet for the both men and women Dolphins.
Lady Dolphin Stephanie Collyer scored a nine out of ten on her dive while Victoria Crea and Tina Chen also came out strong. The rest of the team followed their lead and put on their game face and swam some of their best personal times to date regardless of the end score.
Lady Dolphin Alumni came out to support the team for the start of a new season. During events they’d cheer on the sidelines for their ex-team mates.
“I have really high expectations for our team in this season,” said Samantha Escobedo, a Lady Dolphin who holds the CUNYAC record for the 200 IM. “I always tell them to swim hard no matter what.”
The Men Dolphins that came out on top were Andrey Tarasov in the 50 yard freestyle, Tim Sweeny in the 100 yard butterfly, and Danila Novikov in the 100 yard breaststroke.
Coach Michael Ackalitis and assistant Coach James Styles showed encouragement towards their teams by shouting “Get excited” during warm ups and having a group motivational pep talk. When the lineup was posted the Dolphins were ready to take their training strategies to the pool.
The Dolphins have prepped for this season differently than they have in years past. Their workout now includes outside cardio training and double practice time in the pool.
“In dry land training, we do squats, resistance bands, jump roping and lunges,” said Naomi Gaggi, a sophomore Lady Dolphin. “This is the first time we’re doing this and it’s been intense.”
This season of change has made its way into the lineup. Lady Dolphin Olivia Brown is known for her long distance freestyle was placed in the 100 backstroke. This season is not only about the Lady Dolphins swimming the fastest times but being in different events that may be outside their comfort zone.
Teammates help their competing swimmers by holding signs under water for all sixty six laps of the 1650 yard freestyle. The only Lady Dolphin to compete in the event was Hunter Dawkins who came in last. Pace had no male representatives for this event.
Ackalitis and Styles kept positive attitudes throughout the meet. They were cheering Dolphin Brandon Lei on when his goggles broke in half during the 200 IM. When the event was over the coaches commented “Everyone give it up to Brandon” and they clapped for him.
With their first loss and win under their belts, the Dolphins are using this as motivation to train harder.
“The teams are headed in the right direction,” said Coach Ackalitis. “We’ve just gotta keep up the good work.”