Swim Team kicks-off season with a promising showing at Catholic Invite


Mia Mattingly, Staff 

La Salle Swim and Dive

This past weekend, the men’s and women’s swim and dive teams took the trek up to Boston to compete at the Catholic Invite, hosted by Boston College. The two-day invitational saw much success for the Explorers, a great start to the season for both squads. The women’s team ultimately finished second out of six teams and the men fourth of six.

In particular, divers Phoebe Shaya and Sam Henninger both placed first in their events: the Women’s 3M dive and the Men’s 1M dive, respectively. Henninger, who claimed gold in the 1M dive at the Atlantic 10 championship meet last season, is already off to a promising start to reclaim this title for this season, especially after this performance. Shaya also received hardware at the 2021 A-10 championship, with a bronze in the Women’s 1M. Her performance this past weekend is on par for her to medal again in February at the championship. Overall, the divers ended the weekend with several impressive performances. In the women’s 3M, senior Kaitlyn Smykowski placed fifth and junior Erica Kenski finished seventh. As for the women’s 1M, Shaya placed third, graduate student Julie D’Amore ended in 5th, Kenski in 6th, and Smykowski in 8th. 

As for the swimmers, the lady Explorers kicked off the meet to a great start with a second-place finish in the first event, the women’s 200-yard freestyle relay. The relay consisted of all returners from last season’s 200 free relay: Toni Rafferty, Sarah Rizzetto, Sam Boyes, and Brynn Peterson. These ladies placed second at the Atlantic 10 championships, where they also broke a school record in the process. Their time this past weekend was only a five-second difference from their personal best last season. This result is promising for the team, allowing for them to have continued dominance in this event.

Rizzetto led the field in the 400 individual medleys, finishing first with a time of 4:34.88, which is eleven seconds faster than anyone else in the field. While Rizzetto did not swim this event last season at the championship, she did place first in the 200 backstroke — the only Explorer to place first in an individual swim race at A-10s.

The women scored at least 16 points in every event, which in the end was what secured them second place. In particular, they were particularly dominant in the 500 free and the 50 free. In the 500, three Explorers received points for a total of 28 in the event. Anne Moser placed third, Brynn Peterson 12th, and Ava Carter 14th. As for the 50, the ladies also scored 28 points, with Rafferty finishing sixth, Lauren Fenn seventh, Boyes 19th, and Raven Domingo 20th.

Other individual performances worth noting include Rizzetto’s third-place finish in both the 200 individual medley and the 200 back, Rafferty’s second-place finish in the 100 free and third place in the 100 fly, and Moser’s second-place finish in the 1000 freestyle.

The relays did very well for the women as well, with the A relays finishing sixth in the 400 medley, fifth in the 200 medley, and second in the 400 free.

On the men’s side, the 100 backstroke was a very strong showing for the Explorers. Trent Burr placed second in the event with Alex Kuriawa third right behind him. Burr continues to show success in backstroke events after placing 14th in the 200 back at the Atlantic-10 championship last April. Burr also showed dominance in the 100 butterfly at the invite, ultimately placing fourth. Kuriawa also found success in other events, finishing 6th in the 100 free.

Other key swimmers at the meet include Zack Miller, Jason Rosales, and Jake Kramer. Miller placed fifth in the 50 free, Rosales 6th in both the 100 and 200 breaststroke, and Kramer 5th in 1000 free.

As for the relays, the men’s A relay placed third in the 200 freestyle, seventh in the 400 medley, third in the 200 medley, and eighth in the 400 freestyle.

After a successful weekend out of town, the Explorers are ready to start their home meet schedule at Kirk Pool. They will pick back up with the action for the home opener this weekend on Friday, Oct. 8, against cross-town rivals Drexel at 5 p.m.

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