Men’s swimming prepares for conferences
By Candace Means, Contributing Writer
This past weekend, the Gettysburg College men’s swim team sent one swimmer to the Swarthmore College invitational. Junior Will Litwinczyk swam in the 100 and 200-meter breaststroke events.
Following the conclusion of the regular season, Gettysburg will now put their focus on the Centennial Conference Championship. After being runner-ups in the 2016-2017 season, there is no doubt that the Bullets have a specific goal in mind.
“For the team, our goal is pretty clear: take back the Conference Championship trophy,” said senior Ian Schrock.
Unsurprisingly, the Bullets staff are also hungry for a new trophy to bring back to Gettysburg. In a preseason video with the Director of Athletic Communications Braden Snyder, Schrock discussed the preparation for this season.
“This preseason is very strong, even stronger than the ones in the past because I think Coach is working us a lot harder this year. We all know that nothing comes as easily as it might have in the past,” said Schrock.
In the preseason video, senior Ty Doughtery discussed the importance of his particular events and how he has to be dedicated not just in the pool but outside the pool as well.
“My races are a lot more, I’d say, mental. They’re quick. If you do one thing wrong, you are kind of out of the race, so it’s a lot of thinking before the race and making sure you have everything down. I learned that from my coaches throughout all the years I’ve been swimming,” he said.
Outside of the pool Doughtery may have to do a lot of mental work, but when he is swimming, his mind is clear.
“I completely forget everything in my head when swimming. I relax my mind and try not to overthink anything about the race.”
The Bullets have a long history of winning the Centennial Conference and are using that, as well as falling short at last year’s Centennial Conference Championship as motivation.
In the preseason video, Dougherty said, “I think being a little bit more of the underdog this year, and not being on top like we have been in the past five or six years, is going to make everyone work a little harder because we want to win, obviously.”
The Bullets finished the regular season with a record of 8-1 and received the number 1 seed in the Centennial Conference.
The Bullets are a young team, mostly consisting of first-years and sophomores. They will pull from and rely on their two seniors, Schrock and Dougherty, to add experience to the team.
Schrock came into the 2017-2018 season ranked third in school history in the 200m butterfly and eighth in the backstroke.
Doughtery was named 2016 Most Outstanding Performer in the 2016 Centennial Conference Championship and holds records for numerous events at Gettysburg including in the 100-breaststroke.
Along with the experience of Schrock and Dougherty, the Bullets will look to sophomore Ogden Leyens to have a strong showing. Leyens was both the Most Outstanding Performer and Outstanding Rookie Performer at previous years’ Conference Championships.
Sophomore Adam Dias comes in as the first seed in the 200-breaststroke, while first-year Jack Edelson does in the 200-butterfly and sophomore Jeff Ragatz in the 200-backstroke.
The team’s strength will be in their depth and ability to score points across most individual events as well as putting together overall strong relays.
The Centennial Conference Championship kicks off Thursday, February 22nd and concludes Sunday, February 25th at Franklin & Marshall College. The Bullets look to regain the Centennial Conference Championship title and enter the NCAA Championships with momentum as they close out the season.