YORK, PA - The 2009-2010 York College men’s swimming squad brims with talent and depth as they enter the new campaign. The Spartans will look to build on last season’s tremendous momentum, evidenced by the Green and White breaking a total of ten school records, including eight individual marks, at last year’s Capital Athletic Conference Championships. With the return of six swimmers who were at least part of those ten record-breaking events, the Spartans will look to continue their stay in the upper echelon of the league standings.
“We have an opportunity to have a strong season,” Spartan head coach Gina McHenry said. “We have talented swimmers throughout our lineup and great senior leadership. These two things will be key for us throughout the year.”
York sports seven seniors on this season’s squad as Clark Arnold, Colin Brown, Andrew Demarest, Dan Kresser, Justin Murphy, Mike Murphy, and Adam Willier return for their final campaign. Amassing a 28-3 mark over the previous three seasons, including a 15-3 record in league meets, this group of Spartans have seen a second-place finish in each of their three CAC Championships. Led by Arnold and Mike Murphy, who captured the title in the 100 freestyle last year, this exceptional senior class could see the Green and White reach new heights.
“The seniors we have this year are simply a great group,” McHenry raved. “They know that we are close to reaching that next level and are willing to do what it takes to get there.”
York’s seven juniors bolster the Spartans’ upperclassmen-heavy roster. AJ Bean, Tom DeCoursey, Ben Hilt, Matt Kempel, Chris Schleicher, Steve Tobin, and Steve Yeager provide the Green and White with outstanding talent and the experience of two collegiate seasons already under their belts. Tobin could have a breakout year, after snapping a pair of individual breaststroke records at last season’s championships. Bean finished second in the 200 backstroke just one year ago and will look for the top spot this season.
“There is a tremendous level of talent in our juniors this year,” McHenry said. “They could all have great seasons and really push us over the edge. I am excited to see how each of them perform.”
The Spartans’ five sophomores continue the trend of strong classes as Alex Diehl, Jack Gottschalk, Jamie Hicks, Richard Janosky, and Brian Shaffer each return for their second season in the Green and White. Highlighted by Gottschalk, who made a huge splash in just his freshman campaign as he continually shattered previous Spartan records in distance freestyle events, this class could prove exceptional. With a year of experience and a full off-season of conditioning to their credit, the sophomore class has the potential to be scary good.
“There is significant talent here, no doubt about it,” McHenry said referring to York’s sophomores. “Sure they are young but their collective ability is outstanding.”
York also sports a diverse group of freshmen who bring new energy to the Spartan pool. Kip Likes, Will McLennan, Steven Mercer, Andy Woods, and Tyler Ziegler bring quality talent and a fresh mindset that could propel York throughout the year.
“We really like the guys we brought in this season,” McHenry said. “They are each sound swimmers who will provide quality to our roster. It will be exciting to see how they grow.”
After finishing in second place in each of the past three seasons, McHenry knows that it will take a little extra for the Spartans to compete with CAC front-runner Mary Washington.
“They have a great program and they do some great things in the pool,” McHenry commented on Mary Washington’s men’s swimming team. “But at the same time, we are not afraid of them anymore. We believe that we can compete come CAC Championships and that is what we are aiming toward.”
With the league championships still months away, McHenry wants the Spartans to consistently build and improve throughout the year.
“We have altered the way we do things for this season,” McHenry said. “Our practices are different, our meet schedule is different. That is by design so that we can improve each and every day and be primed for the end of the season. If that happens I think we will be in a great position come mid-February’s championships.”
The Green and White officially open their 2009-2010 season this Friday, November 6, as they host a pair of CAC foes. Hood and rival Mary Washington invade York’s Grumbacher Sport & Fitness Center for a 6:00 p.m. tri-meet.