SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University men's and women's swimming teams enter the 2012-13 season with an influx of new talent that hopes to mix with the returning veteran talent to build on where the teams finished last season.
After losing 12 seniors from last year, Head Coach Jill Stephenson is hopeful that the incoming freshman class will step up and help Salisbury improve on the team's Capital Athletic Conference standings from last season. "Some of our new freshmen are pretty impressive swimmers," Stephenson said. "We hope that they will make up for the points that our seniors had last year."
A young men's team will look to the leadership of senior Paul Zoli as one of the two returning seniors this season. Last season, Zoli set one individual school record and helped set two relay school records.
Along with Zoli, sophomore Rich Ambrose, and juniors Chris Franklin, James Gough and Chip Helferstay are all in position to be successful in 2012-13. "These are the guys that we are really looking forward to having them step up," said Stephenson.
The Sea Gulls are looking to several freshmen to fill big roles this season. "There are a lot of new faces and a lot of new people that we are looking at," said Stephenson. Chris Ek, Will Gough, Ryan Greene and Jeremy Powell are all looking to make an impact in their first seasons as Sea Gulls.
The women's team brings back a strong core of returning leadership to lead the Gulls this season. Sophomore Taylor Merget and senior Sarah Ault return after helping set two school records in the 200 and 400 medley relays last season.
"The one thing that we have going for us is that this is a good team. They all mesh together and work together well," Stephenson said.
The Sea Gulls start their season on Oct. 23 at home against Rowan University, followed by the team's first CAC meet at Frostburg State University on Oct. 27.
Salisbury hosts four home meets this season, including three of its five CAC meets.
The CAC Championship will take place Feb. 15-17, at St. Mary's (Md.) College.
"All of our meets are going to be a challenge for us," Stephenson said. "We don't have any meets that are going to be something that we can take lightly."