Swimming Squads Dive Optimistically into Season

Expectations are running high for the Ramapo College swimming teams.

After finishing 4-2 last season, the men’s team is looking forward to raising the bar. Sophomore Phil Sokoloff said the Roadrunners, who are 2-1 this season, expect to improve this year under the tutelage of head coach Gary Orr. 

“Coach Orr has been improving his strategy year by year since he started here, and I think that this year a lot of us will be swimming best times and continue to go faster throughout the season,” said Sokoloff

Sokoloff said the team looks to Ramapo’s core of incoming freshmen, including Peter Kellner, Brian Henningsen and Trevor Marshall, to fill in for last year’s senior class.

“We did lose some good senior swimmers, but we got some really fast recruits this year, so I think our time is more diversified and will have a better record,” he said.

The Roadrunners returned to action Oct. 27, dropping their first meet against fellow New Jersey Athletic Conference rivals The College of New Jersey, 163-99. 

Ramapo was led by junior Robert Stein, who finished first in the 100-yard breaststroke at 1:03.10, while sophomore James Campbell also earned first place in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:01.99. 

After the tough loss to TCNJ, Ramapo wasted no time to notch their first wins of the season, defeating The New Jersey Institute of Technology, 69-53, and Pace University, 74-48, on Nov. 17.

“We knew the meet was going to be close, but we all swam really well and had some surprises, and winning the tri-meet was a huge confidence boost and definitely brought us all closer together as a team,” said Sokoloff, the 2011-12 NJAC Second Team All-Conference recipient.

Kellner led the charge for the men’s squad, finishing first in the 200-yard and 500-yard freestyles at 1:48.33 and 4:59.12, respectively. Sokoloff also grabbed first in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 55.61, while Henningsen won the 200-yard butterfly in 2:03.63.

The women’s team also began their seasons on Oct. 27, falling to TCNJ 174-87 in their first NJAC matchup of the season. 

Sophomores Lauren Keller and Maggie Nagle led the women’s squad. Keller won the 50-yard, 100-yard and 200-yard freestyles with times of 25.18, 54.69 and 2:00.70, respectively. Nagle finished first in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 54.69 seconds.

Keller and Nagle were also focal points in the Roadrunners’ first victory over Pace University, 145-108, on Nov. 17.

Keller once again dominated the 50-yard, 100-yard and 200-yard freestyles, winning all three events, while Nagle won the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 2:20.82. 

Freshman Megan Fosko also contributed to the victory, winning the 100-yard and 200-yard breaststrokes in 1:14.26 and 2:39.10. 

“It (the victory) was great for team morale and showed the program was on the right track with the proper leadership going into the rest of the season and the Franklin and Marshall invitational this year,” said Keller. “Team morale is bottom line what makes a great season.”