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Swimming and Diving returns to action after absence

By Brian Tabakin

Section: Featured, Sports

October 26, 2012

Competing for the first time at home since the 2008 season, the Brandeis swimming and diving team announced their return to competition with a new school record in a pair of losses to the Wheaton College Lyons. The Lyon men defeated the Judges 159-97 while the women defeated the Judges 163-120.

Coach Mike Kotch reflected on the excitement of returning to action with a home meet.

“The meet went very well. It was exciting to have the stands packed with faculty, staff and students. It was exciting for the team and they deserved it,” Kotch said.

Despite losing both meets to the Lyons, Kotch was impressed and satisfied with his team’s performance.

“I thought we competed. We’re not a big team but we have talented kids. We won a lot of events and now the goal is to just try to build upon the talent,” he said.

In the previous years, Kotch had been focused on recruiting students for the team while the pool underwent repairs.

Max Fabian ’15, a recent transfer, won three of the Judges 15 events and set the highlight of the meet for the Judges with a school record-breaking performance in the 1,000-yard freestyle. His time of 9:58.06 breaks the record formerly held by Hal Grossman ’06 by seven seconds. In addition to his win in the 1,000-yard freestyle, Fabian also won the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 5:02.22, and the 200 butterfly with a time of 2:06.05.

Brian Luk ’16 joined Fabian, by also winning three events. He won the 50 freestyle with a time of 22.65 seconds, just .03 seconds ahead of his closest competitor, and the 100 freestyle in 48.98 seconds, as well as winning the 100 butterfly with a time of 56.37 seconds.

On the women’s side, Theresa Gaffney ’16 won the Judges’ first event of the day with a time of 11:43.44 in the 1,000 freestyle as well as winning the 500 freestyle in 5:44.05.

Lauren Cruz ’16 joined Fabian and Luk with wins in different strokes winning the 200 freestyle in 2:05.94, and the 200 backstroke with a time of 2:25.02.

“Recruiting went well and I think now that the freshmen are starting to put up results in meets it will allow us to show recruits something tangible and viable. This is the direction of the program and this is how you can fit in,” Kotch said.

One of the few holdovers from the swimming team before its absence, Holly Spicer ’13 won both of her breaststroke events, winning the 100 with a time of 1:11.27 and the 200 with a time of 2:37.05.

Other winners for the Judges included David Lazarovich ’16 who won the men’s 100 breaststroke in 1:05.55; while Gabby Drillich ’15 won the women’s 200 butterfly with a time of 2:30.04 and Fallon Bushee ’16 won the women’s 50 freestyle with a time of 26 seconds.

Kotch’s main goal over the course of the season is to create a team culture.

“I want to establish a competitive culture and a foundation of hard work. That is something I’ve stressed to the team from day one because what we do this year will directly influence what the team does next year,” he said.

“If we don’t have a competitive culture then we’re not going to get top-notch recruits. We’re trying to run a tight ship so we can be taken seriously by recruits and so we can be proud in what we do,” he added.

The team will return to action this weekend when they travel to Rochester for a mini-meet before returning home on Nov. 3 for a meet against Roger Williams.

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