Swimmers forsee a fruitful season

Photo by julie aagaard on Pexels.com

Mark Poisler ’21

Swimmers take your mark . . . BOO! The Crusader Swim Team celebrated this Halloween by hosting two separate swim meets at the home pool on October 31 against the Stratford High School Spartans and the St. John XXIII SeaLions. Losing to Stratford but beating St. John, the Crusaders forged a path to improvement. 

In the freezing October morning, the first half of the Crusader team lined up on the starting blocks (social distancing of course) against the Spartans. Even with many of our swimmers having little training over the summer, several Crusaders excelled in their individual events.

Ethan Gadbois ‘21 secured first place in the 100 yard freestyle with a time of 51.40 seconds, not a personal best. “I’d say it went pretty well,” Gadbois said. “It was a solid step in the right direction.” 

Breastroker Alex Culligan ‘21 also won first place in his 100 yard breaststroke race.  In the 100-yard butterfly, Ben Aceituj ‘21 touched the wall second with at 58.03 seconds. “Although the race did not go as I had hoped,” Aceituj said, “I learned some lessons that I can use the next time I get on the blocks. I am very proud of how my fellow teammates came out and raced.” 

In the sunny and warmer afternoon, the second squad of Crusaders fought hard against the St. John 23 Sea Lions. This was the first meet for some freshman. Still, they posted some impressive times. For example, Kieran Smith ‘24 ranked first in the 50 yard freestyle with a 25.61, a time comparable to what many upperclassmen had achieved in the morning.

Although the Crusaders as a whole fell short of a sweeping both meets, our swimmers coaches believe that competing and learning from mistakes now will help them succeed in the more important races.

“In swimming, the only meets that matter for winning are the playoff meets, such as Districts in January,” Strake Jesuit Head Coach Tim Keogh said. “Tough teams during the regular season ensure strong and competitive races. We are working hard, and we have had many personal bests. All of this bodes well for our chances in January.”

Since it was Halloween, the meet held a special 100 yard relay event (4 swimmers) where each swimmer swam one length of the pool (25 yards) with a full size pumpkin. Swimmers needed creativity in tactics to win the race. Some swam with the pumpkins between their legs while others held the pumpkin like a kickboard. Some brave ones attempted the tactic of chucking the pumpkin down the pool, swimming to it, and then chucking it again.