YORK, PA - A new day has dawned on the York College women’s swimming program. Flush with a crop of young, talented swimmers, the 2009-2010 squad could prove one of the best teams in the history of York swimming.
“We have a new team this year,” Spartan head coach Gina McHenry raved. “It is only preseason so we have a very long way to go, but our expectations are very high. This team could be the start of something special.”
McHenry has reason to be hopeful as quality upperclassmen leadership is bolstered by an infusion of fresh young talent.
That leadership begins with York’s five seniors as Flor Isabel Aroche, Kaitlin Crean, Kristin Leonard, Ashley Stanton, and Molly Wasik begin their final campaign in the Green and White. These four have seen the Spartan program begin the turn the corner. Over the previous three seasons, York has accumulated a 19-17 overall record, while putting up a 6-11 mark against Capital Athletic Conference opponents. The Spartans continue to improve the program with the main evidence coming at last year’s CAC Championships where the Green and White shattered eleven school records.
Wasik was among those record-breakers as she snapped a trio of school records at last year’s CAC Championships. A standout in the 200 IM as well as the sprint backstroke events, Wasik will look for a great finish to her Spartan career.
Stanton performed exceptionally well in the freestyle relays just one year ago and will strive to do so again this season.
“Our seniors bring a lot to the table,” McHenry said. “Not only in the pool but out of it as well. They will most certainly help our very young team this year to adjust quickly to our program.”
The Spartans’ four juniors, Alison Beverly, Lisa King, Maureen Loughman, and Colleen Walker, will also look to build upon their previous two seasons and help along York’s younger swimmers. King in particular helped the Green and White to a school record in the 400 freestyle relay last season and, along with her fellow classmates, will look for overall improvement in 2009-10.
“This junior class should do well this season,” McHenry said. “Overall, they bring many of the same qualities that our seniors bring in the way of leadership and great attitudes. At the same time, this could be a breakout year for each of them with two college seasons of experience.”
Opening the year, York’s sophomores look to be the squad’s strongest group as Kate Estes, Liz Grey, and Michaela Guild are joined by Spartan newcomers Heather MacLennan and Kathy Murphy. Grey and Guild burst onto the scene last season in just their rookie campaigns. Guild herself broke four school records in freestyle events at her first championships and, with a season of experience as well as an off-season of training, could be primed for a great sophomore season. Grey also established herself as one of York’s top young swimmers setting a new school record in the 100 butterfly while anchoring two relay squads which also set new program bests. MacLennan carries great promise into this season after transferring from Division II Tampa where she excelled in the backstroke.
“We are very, very excited about what this sophomore class brings to the pool,” McHenry said. “This class has the potential to be one of the best in the history of our program.”
An infusion of seven freshmen brings an added energy and influx of talent to the Spartan roster. Meg Dailey, Alex Minsky, Bethany Moore, Mandy Oldham, Katelyn Romm, Chelsea Ross, and Amanda Silcox are promising young swimmers with the ability to contribute right away.
“The freshmen that we brought in this year are going to be exceptional swimmers for us, many right away,” McHenry commented. “We expect them to do big things not only in years to come but beginning now, beginning this season.”
Despite the Spartans finishing toward the bottom of the league standings in previous campaigns, McHenry is exceptionally optimistic about the prospects of this year’s team.
“We have the talent this season to begin an ascent up the CAC ladder,” McHenry said. “Our swimmers this year are a motivated and hard-working group that knows that have an opportunity to start something great.”
Not only does McHenry believe the Spartans will be better within the league, but she also believes that numerous records will fall this year.
“Once again, with the talent we have we should be able to almost completely re-write the record books,” McHenry said. “Obviously, you have to get it done come the meets but the potential we have is outstanding.”
York will look to begin to realize that potential this Friday, November 6, as the Spartans host CAC foes Hood and Mary Washington. The Green and White’s first meet this season is set to begin at 6:00 p.m. from York’s Grumbacher Sport & Fitness Center.
Photo: Senior Ashley Stanton will look to lead a
young Spartan squad to new heights this season.