SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University men's and women's swimming team are ready to start the 2019-20 season strong heading to their opening meet on Wednesday.
Jill Stephenson, who returns for her 24th season as head coach of the Salisbury swimming program, knows her teams has much to prove this year after the men placed third and the women finished fifth at the Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) championships last year. The program is ready to make a 'splash' with returners and fresh faces.
Stephenson has added some more numbers to the women's team this season with a plethora of freshman and new additions. After finishing fifth at CAC Championships and earning a 3-8 season record, the team is looking to rebound and get back to where they want to be as a team.
"We are looking to improve our position from last season and get better every day," Stephenson stated.
The senior group of Angela Barzanti, Briya Cohen, Chase McClure and Emma Tarnosky look to provide the leadership to the younger members of the team.
Junior Natalie Eiken and sophomores Autumn Allen and Jordan DeGruchy return to the pool after breaking school records at last year's CAC championships. Allen set a time of 33.07 seconds in the 50-meter breaststroke. Eiken set the record in the 50-meter freestyle (24.87) while DeGruchy notched a time of 28.63 seconds in the 50-meter butterfly.
The freshman trio of Kiki Grahman, Kayleigh Bohs and Emily Gavigan are expected to make an immediate impact on the women's team this season.
The men's team will be paced by senior All-CAC swimmer Josh Brown. Brown was awarded first-team honors for his performance in the 50-yard freestyle, and second-team honors in the 100-yard butterfly and 100-yard individual medley. In his career, Brown has totaled seven All-CAC honors and he looks to continue his momentum in his final season.
Fellow senior Richard Baker looks to earn All-CAC honors in 2019-20 after collecting second team All-CAC accolades after his sophomore season.
Stephenson welcomes a couple new faces to the team, including transfer sophomore Sean Cochran and several freshmen who are expected to be contributors in their first season as a Sea Gull.
"I believe that the team chemistry is very strong on both the men's and women's side," said Stephenson. "We have worked hard in the offseason and in the preseason and look to have it all come together during our meets."
The teams begin the season on Wed., Oct. 16, when they host the Marymount Saints. The meet is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. in the Maggs Physical Activities Center Natatorium. CAC Championships will be held on Feb. 13-16 at St. Mary's.