The York College men’s swim team had high expectations, with an outstanding season in 2007-08. The funny thing about expectations is that the green and white might be an even better squad in 2008-09. However, you won’t hear a peep out of the Spartans or their head coach Gina McHenry.
“We are a very focused team this year,” says McHenry. “Last year the expectations were high and we performed well but not as well as we could have. This year, it’s all about doing our talking in the water with our performance.”
McHenry will count on a group of four seniors to provide leadership for the green and white. Matt Jennings, Garrett Higgins, Adam Usciak, and Chris Suehr are the seniors who will be expected to be leaders for York. In their previous three years in the pool for the Spartans, York sports a record of 27-3 overall and a 16-3 mark in the CAC.
Jennings begins his senior season as one of the top swimmers in the Capital Athletic Conference. Jennings had a great CAC championship meet for the green and white. He was a part of three first-place relay teams and a second place 200 free relay while he finished second in the 100 backstroke and third in the 100 free.
Higgins was a part of the runner-up 800 relay team while, individually, he was eighth in the 100 free and ninth in the 200 freestyle.
McHenry knows the senior class has the ability to set the tone for the green and white.
“This senior class has experienced success throughout their careers and I don’t expect this year to be any different. They are all solid swimmers that each bring something different to the team. The are all strong leaders both in and out of the pool.”
The senior class is hardly the only strong group for the Spartans. The key junior class returners are Clark Arnold, Andrew Demarest, Stephen Doemland, and Dan Kresser. Arnold was a part of a pair of winning relay teams at the CAC championships and a member of the 200 free relay team, which finished second. Arnold’s top individual finish was fifth in the 200 fly. Demarest was a member of the 800 free relay team that finished second while he was fourth in the 400 IM and fifth in the 200 IM. Doemland was also a part of the 800 free relay team while he was also fifth in the 500 free and the 200 free. Kresser’s best finish at championships came in the 400 IM where he finished eighth.
“The junior class is talented group,” says McHenry. “It is a deep class that provides us with quality and depth.”
McHenry will count on sophomores Steven Tobin, A.J. Bean, and Ben Hilt to provide York with a core of young and talented performers. Tobin had an outstanding freshman campaign as he was a member of two CAC winning relays while he was third in the 100 breaststroke and fourth in the 200 breaststroke. Bean was a part of the second place 800 free relay team while he was fifth in the 100 backstroke and sixth in the 200 backstroke. Hilt was on the first place 400 free relay team and the second-place 200 free relay team. Individually, he finished sixth in the 100 backstroke, eighth in the 50 free, and ninth in the 100 butterfly.
In addition to the wealth of returning talent, McHenry welcomes in a seven-member recruiting class. She feels that the class will have an immediate impact on the Spartan fortunes.
“This is a very good class that should provide us with quality depth and talent,” states the Spartan mentor. “They will give us depth in all four of our classes.”
McHenry’s expectations for this season are simple.
“I want us to work each day to get better whether it is in practice or in a meet,” says McHenry. “We have team goals and the kids have individual goals and if we meet those goals, we should have a very successful season.”
Photo courtesy of Steve Doemland