The Connecticut College swimming and diving teams will open the season with a tri-meet against NESCAC rivals Middlebury and Tufts University this Saturday in Middlebury, Vt. Under the direction of head coach Marc Benvenuti, both programs have flourished in recent years.
The men´s swimming team will look to build on its most successful season in program history. The 2008-2009 Camels placed fourth at the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Championship, an amazing accomplishment for a program that finished in last place as recently as 2002.
Connecticut College finished 16th at the NCAA Championship and had five student-athletes recognized as All-America performers. Two of those All-Americans, senior sprinters Grant Moryan and Pat Troy, will serve as co-captains for the Camels this season. Moryan is a Dean´s List student from Westfield, N.J. majoring in history and American Studies. Troy, a product of the Granite State from Bradford, N.H., has excelled academically as a Dean´s List Student majoring in economics and geophysics.
Tim Walsh ´12 capped off a sensational rookie season with an All-American performance in the 100 yard backstroke and contributed to All-America finishes in three relays. Benvenuti will look for Walsh to continue to rack up the points in his second year with the program.
Seniors Sam Perley and Brian Finnerty return as All-Americans for the Camels. Perley garnered All-NESAC Honors in the 50 yard breaststroke and contributed on the All-American 200 and 400 yard Medley Relay teams. Finnerty garnered All-America honors in the 200 yard free relay for the Camels.
The women´s team will be led by seniors Alexis Levengood and Kristen Zarba. Levengood is a Dean´s List student from Caldwell, N.J. who is majoring in biology and environmental studies. She is a leader in the natatorium and on campus, where she sits on the environmental studies advisory board and has contributed as an orientation coordinator. Zarba, a 2007 All-NESCAC performer in the 200 yard butterfly from Beverly, Mass., joins Levengood as co-captain. Zarba carries a major in sociology based human relations and a minor in psychology.
Benvenuti welcomes the return of junior Sarah Murphy, a 2009 All-American in the 100 and 200 yard butterfly. Murphy scored 14 points at the NCAA Championship to lead the program to a 39th place finish. Sophomore Erika Fernandes will look to build on a successful rookie season that culminated with an All-NESCAC finish in the 50 yard breaststroke.
The Camels will renew their rivalry with the Coast Guard Saturday, Dec. 5 for a 1:00 p.m. meet in their home opener at Lott Natatorium. Benvenuti has ramped up the schedule with Division 1 opponents UMaine-Orono and the University of Connecticut to prepare the team for championship season.
The Camels will continue a program tradition when they head south to the Sunshine State in December for three weeks of training and conditioning in Naples, Fla.
Alyssa Toran, a 2008 graduate of Kenyon College, has returned to the program for her second season as Benvenuti's lead assistant coach.
November 19, 2009