POTSDAM, N.Y. – The men and women's swimming and diving teams head to the State University of New York Athletic Conference Championships this week. The tournament begins Wednesday, Feb. 20 and runs through Saturday, Feb. 23 at Erie Community College in Buffalo, N.Y. A strong men's team looks to continue their success into the post season. The women's team is in search of strong performances by several individuals to climb the SUNYAC ranks. Last season, the men finished seventh and the women placed ninth. The championships mark the final chance for members of the men and women's teams to break school records and qualify for the NCAA DIII Championships on March 20-23 in Shenandoah, TX.
The men enter the SUNYAC championships with a perfect 6-0 duel meet record this year. Senior Alexander Taylor highlights the Bears squad as a first team All-SUNYAC selection and Outstanding Male Swimmer last season. Taylor looks to defend his titles in the 100 and 200 breaststrokes and is currently the top seed in both events. The senior also has his sights set on the grueling 400 IM with one of the top times entering the race. This season, the Port Ewen native recorded a school record in the 400 IM (4:17.51) and broke his previous record in the 200 breaststroke (2:06.12) with a NCAA B qualifying time. Junior Richie Zimmerman will look to make an impact as well. Zimmerman comes in on a high note with a school record performance in the 200 backstroke (1:59.80) earlier this year at the Fredonia Invitational. The junior is seeded behind his teammate in the 200 breaststroke.
The women return to the SUNYAC Championships with a goal of improving on last year's performance. The Bears are led by seniors Liz Ringer, Paige Montroy, and Kylie Barr. Ringer earned five first place finishes to close out the final stretch going into the tournament. Sophomore Victoria Blakeslee joins her teammates after finishing a strong regular season. The sophomore closed out the final three meets with six individual victories and will seek to continue her success at the championship meet.
Wednesday will feature the first round of preliminary dives beginning at 12:00 p.m. The following three-days will feature preliminary races and diving during the morning sessions, starting at 10:00 a.m. each day, followed by event finals in the evening at 6:00 p.m.
Tickets will be sold at the door for both prelims and finals each day. The cost is
$6 per adult and $3 for children ages 6-12. SUNYAC college students with ID and kids five and under are free. All-sessions passes will also be made available at the door. An adult pass is $30 and is good for all sessions (prelims and finals). Included with the pass will be one heat sheet for each session. A child pass is $15 and good for all-sessions (prelims and finals). No heat sheet will be included with this pass.