For Immediate Release: October 6, 2009
Contact: Ian Milne (
Phone: 607-777-2956

Binghamton Swimming and Diving Preview

VESTAL, N.Y. -- The Binghamton men's and women's swimming and diving teams will open its 2009-10 season Saturday, October 10 when the Bearcats compete at the Western New York Invitational in Buffalo.

This upcoming season, the pool is brimming with youth, energy and an impatience for competition. The men's roster is half filled with freshman, as 12 of the 24 Bearcats are newcomers. The women's outlook is similar, as 20 of the 34 on the official roster are underclassmen. However, this is far from rebuilding years for the Bearcats,

"Freshmen want to see what they can do in their time at college. The motivation is there, and they are motivated because they know what has happened in the past; they saw our success," said head coach Sean Clark. "They saw eight team records being broken last year, they saw us being 20th and 23rd in the nation academically. They want their turn."

"The upperclassmen realize they are not going to just be given their places. They have to earn it everyday; the freshmen want to prove they belong. There is a lot of competition in the pool, most of it's friendly. You want to push yourself and feel good and represent. If you're going to beat me, you better beat our opponents."

Men's Outlook

The upcoming campaign is a fresh chapter in Binghamton men's swimming and diving history, as the 2009 Bearcat senior class was one of the most celebrated to pass through the Patricia A. Saunders Aquatic Center. However, the focus is clearly on what has been gained this year

"We found the guys we like, they are competitive and they belong at Binghamton University. They fit in with what we're trying to do," said Clark. "We'll take this group and it will shape our future."

Leading the returning charge is last years team MVP sophomore Nolan Slesnick. Slesnick made an immediate impact in his first season as a Bearcat, winning the 400 IM and 1650 free in school record times at the conference meet, while setting a conference record in the 400 IM. He also placed third in the 500 free and for his efforts he was awarded the newcomer of year for the conference.

"Slesnick looks just as strong as a sophomore. He is picking up right where he left off last year, when he was conference champion in two events. He's got a mark he's got to swim ahead of."

Also leading the charge is senior Philip Dzieniszewski, junior Jason Chen and sophomore Joe Perez-Rogers.

Heading the senior class, Dzieniszewski returns for a final year ready to lead by example. He has a long history of success at the America East Championships, where last year he placed fourth in the 50 free and the 100 fly. Likewise Chen, last year's team h20 award winner, is ready to build upon his success in the pool.

"We have such a strong core of returnees," praised Clark. "Jason really broke out last year. He was our h20 award winner, anytime we called his name he was ready to go in any event. Joe Perez-Rogers is our freshman record holder in the 100 back, he knows he has to keep up the work."

Additional leadership at the senior level will come from senior captains John Blatchford and Cole Courtemanche. Rounding out the senior class is Ziyad Rouhana and diver Bob Nolte.

Part of that new future are freshmen David Gleason, Josh Saccurato, and Andrew Ellman and all three are expected to make an immediate contribution to BU's lineup.

"We're excited about Gleason who really started to blossom last year," said Clark. "We'll see some great things from him. Saccurato in addition to Chen is the most versatile on the team. IM, backstroke, butterfly and he can do breaststroke in a pinch. He's just on the upswing along with former club level teammate Ellman, who is our top breaststroker after we lost our two school record holders all at once. We're putting it on the freshman right away. We expect Elman to be a three event finalist."

Other freshman fighting to make waves immediately include Tim Cabasino, Devon Byrt, and Jon Dinces.

"Cabasino was one of the top sprinters in New York state. He'll definitely respond to our training. In the middle distance lane Cabasino and Devon will be competing for points."

Not to be outdone, the large freshman class is rounded out by Aaron Budner, Ryan Terracciano, Erick Wagner and Mark Cereste.

"Budner does IM, does Fly, does mid to long distance and has got great potential ahead of him," said Clark. "On the breaststroke side of things, Terracciano is expected to contribute right away. We have such a solid core right behind them, we're always looking for the breakout performers."

Completing the roster is sophomore Dan Feeley and Matt Weis, Junior Kevin Kearney

On the boards, the Bearcats will be looking to fill the hole left by Ryan Graham, the most decorated diver in Binghamton history. Sophomore Nick Turner will be leading the charge along with senior Bob Nolte and two new divers, freshmen Athony Folies and Justin Mattison.

"Folies and Mattison both have the potential to be two event finalists at the conference level. Adding them to Turner who was top five in the conference as a freshman. here to finish out his career, where he has been a multiple finalist in the past, he's looking to get back there on both boards.

"Our ultimate goal in a swim season is to swim fast in February. Yes it's fun to get some competitive dual meets, yet it's fun to challenge our selves in practice but we define our success by the conference meet. For the men, we have to hold our position. Yes, we were third, but it was one of the best team efforts we had 72 lifetime best times, all 18 guys were involved. Broke eight school records, that's a powerful performance. We would only be truly satisfied if we had similar results this year. It's fun to see my guys on the podium."

Women's Outlook

This year there is clear focus, and with that a noticeable excitement. After winning only one dual meet last year, and placing sixth in the America East, the women's swimming and diving team is ready to ignite change.

"I'm not happy with where we are. It's not a comfortable position. It's not where we want to be... One of the things that we're really looking to do is to break a few team relay records. In order to do that, you have to have more than one person at a really high level," said head coach Sean Clark. "I think it's going to be exciting to have more close contests. There is a level of excitement that I haven't seen at least in my five years here."

Returning for her junior season, Amanda Ciccone was Binghamton's top performer at the conference meet and team MVP. She was a finalist in three events placing fifth in the 100 fly, sixth in the 50 free and seventh in the 100 free.

"She had an amazing first year here and she's in even better shape this year. We're looking forward to using her speed and versatility in the sprints, butterfly and the IM."

Also making an impact last year, Allyce Brand leads a small senior class that includes Rita Brodfuehrer, Taryn Ferrara, Adina Fischer, and Stephanie Gomez.

"Brand is our school record holder in the 100 breast, and she's ready for a great senior campaign. Her breaststroke and her sprinting is going to be extremely valuable. Broadfurher is continuing to hack time off of her events."

Other returnees that are looking to help the program reach the next level are juniors Brittany Detlef and Daniello Gallo and sophomores Tricia Alejandro, Maria Mazzoni and Margaret Rakoczy.

"Our returners are back and looking for the next level. Detlef is still a solid point scorer for us. Alejandro, Mazzoni and Racozy as sophomores are looking for some continued success."

Tin Wai Siu heads a very talented freshman class who are hungry to make a mark. Last year the Bearcat's roster included 21 underclassmen, and this year looks similar with 20. However, the talent is

"Sui is a true freshman…her swimming skills are very well developed. Her butterflies will be tops on the team. She's going to get some conference finalist placements. We have an impressive freshman class for us, I would say this is the deepest class we've ever had at Binghamton University. We've been working hard and we've already seen some impressive development."

Two new breaststrokers join the Bearcat lineup, freshmen Lindsey Parmiter and Chelsea Deignan and look to challenge the returning standouts Gallo and Brand.

"Gallo has the school record in the 200 breast, not to mention Brand and Parmiter who should be able to score some points in the 100 breast. Deignan, she'll be chasing after Gallo all year long."

Also getting a strong boost is the Bearcat backstroke. Newcomers Olivia Baczek, Melissa Lindahl and Kimberly Ong are expected to make some waves in the pool.

"Add them to a strong Worthington," said Clark, "and we've got a solid core. We're looking for someone to break out of that pack."

Also joining Binghamton this season are freshmen Danielle Blom, Lauri Crimmins and Caitlin Nelson.

"Blom is just on the upswing of her career. Crimmins has been working hard, and Nelson will make an immediate impact in the sprint events. She should be a contributor on the relays that we're looking to break some records."

On the boards, the women will also be looking to replace a hole. Kate Hassfurter was the only medalist for the women at last years conference meet, but there is strong contingent right behind. At the 2009 conference championships, five of the eight Bearcat finalists were divers. Of those returning, junior Elizabeth Esposito and sophomore Morgan Neal will be leading the way with sophomores Sarah Kupferberg and Carly Clark right behind. Last season, Esposito was a finalist in the one-meter dive at the conference championships.

Although there are large numbers of underclassmen on both squads, Clark is counting on the motivation and thirst to nullify any inexperience.

"They don't really know what to expect, they don't have any preconceived notions about which teams are tough and what's supposed to happen. I like the new blood and the new attitude especially on the women's side. We're going to have a lot more competitive meets."

The Bearcats travel to the WNY Invitational at Buffalo this Saturday, October 3rd.

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