First-year Josh Parker sets new school record as men’s swimming continues dominance
By Claire Healey, Sports Editor
The Gettysburg College men’s swim team came out on top in an epic battle of the remaining undefeated teams. The Bullets beat Swarthmore College 135-127 in a meet that came down to the final event on Saturday, January 28.
Gettysburg won seven of fourteen events and also racked up several runners-up finishes. Leading the way for the Bullets was junior captain Tyler Dougherty who took home both the 50 and 100-freestyle events. Dougherty was also a member of the meet-winning relay.
First-year Ogden Leyens also came away with two victories for Gettysburg in the 200 and 500-freestyle. Leyens has been part of a stand-out first-year class for the Bullets with many of them having garnered individual victories and school records.
One of those first-years is Josh Parker who came away with a victory in the 1,000-freestyle. He clocked in at 9:51.11, which was a new school record for Gettysburg. He beat the time previously set fourteen years ago by Sean O’Connor ’03 by almost two seconds.
“During the thousand I felt pretty smooth, relaxed. I was able to pick it up when I wanted to pick it up; right around the 500 mark. I was just happy that I finished with a win. It was also great to see my teammates cheering me on for the last part of the race,” said Parker.
First-year Adam Dias also helped Gettysburg secure a win with an individual victory in the 100-breastroke and a runner-up finish in the 200-breastroke. Other first-years with runner-up finishes were Jeff Ragats in the 100-backstroke, Alex Howard in the 200-butterfly and Jack Freeman in the 100-butterfly.
Sophomore Francisco Nieves finished second in the 100-freestyle and third in the 200-freestyle. Fellow sophomore Jakob Hegna had a runner-up finish in the 200-backstroke and a third place finish in the 100-backstroke.
Gettysburg and Swarthmore were pretty well matched throughout most of the meet. Swarthmore had control of the meet from the first relay, where they came away with the victory. Gettysburg would fight its way back with victories by Parker, Leyens, and Dias.
Swarthmore came back with victories in the 100-butterfly and 200-individual medley to go up by one point going into the final event. The 400-freestyle relay turned out to be an important event.
Gettysburg, however, was going to make their victory decisive. The team of Leyens, sophomore Parker Sorenson, Nieves, and Dougherty came away with the victory and prevailed by over four seconds. With that victory, the Bullets very clearly locked up their win.
“Ogden was close with the other guys and I just tried to stay strong with them too. Francisco there had a great split. To have someone like Ty Dougherty as the anchor is comforting because he can come in clutch. And he did that, so it makes you feel a little safer having someone like him closing,” said Sorenson.
This dual meet win also put Gettysburg in solo first place, a top the Centennial Conference standings. Gettysburg will look to seven-peat as champions starting on Friday, February 17.