By Jordan Gibberman
The Purchase Panthers men’s and women’s swim team made their home debut in early November for the 2019 season.
Swimming against the Brooklyn College Bulldogs, the Panthers’ men’s team lost 49-143 while the women’s team defeated the Bulldogs 97-78.
“I’m very excited for the women. It was a nice win over Brooklyn,” said John Brian Hansbury, the men’s and women’s swim head coach. “Even though the men lost, I felt that everyone played well.”
In their second meet both the Panthers’ teams were outswum when they hosted the William Paterson Pioneers. The men lost by a score of 68-94 and the women, 67-96. The men’s team currently holds an overall record of 2-3, the women’s team’s overall record is now 2-4 both including conference meets.
“You look at every meet and try to dissect it,” said Hansbury. “They are a great team, and we got a great group of guys here who come in as a group, so we are very pleased with their performances.”
While the men have lost their first two home meets, the players still feel good about their season.
“There are days when you win, and days when you lose,” said Matt Montan, a sophomore. “If you have a good meet, learn from it. If you have a bad meet, you still learn from it.”
Montan mentioned that everyone needs to show up to practice everyday if they want to improve, despite being student athletes and having school as their top priority. He also went into detail about his goals for this season.
“I want to be out of my comfort zone, even if I am not a good freestyle swimmer,” said Montan. “There will be times when you will be put in events that are definitely not within your range.”
The victory for the women’s team against the Bulldogs appeared to be a key one, as they’ve lost their first two meets of the season and their most recent meet against the Pioneers.
“Despite some losses, they’ve had great success so far,” said Hansbury. “They may have dealt with challenges such as class scheduling and illnesses that affect performances.”
Diana Gilday, a sophomore at Purchase on the women’s swim team, described her thoughts and how the team can gain momentum.
“I thought as a team we have performed well,” said Gilday. “I think if we all keep coming to practice and begin working more like a team, we will have a great chance at winning more in the future.”
Gilday then mentioned that her goals for this season are to get her times quicker and improve her skills in all four strokes. Her teammate, Lenore Hernandez, also had similar feelings.
“We all encourage and support each other so much,” Hernandez said. “I think that if we keep working hard during practice and our meets, we will keep adding wins under our belt.”
Hernandez also said that she loves the team and wants to improve her stamina and endurance while swimming.
The 2019 swim season at Purchase continues to progress with plenty of memorable moments, as the team prepares for their third consecutive home games when they host the Lehman College Lightning on Nov 18.
Disclaimer: Interviewee Diana Gilday is a regular contributor to the Phoenix.