BINGHAMTON SWIMMING AND
The Binghamton men's and women's swimming and diving teams will
open its 2007-08 season Saturday, October 13 when the Bearcats
compete at the Western New York Invitational in Buffalo.
A record eight home meets at
Binghamton's Patricia A. Saunders Aquatic Center highlight the
"The focus this year is on competition. We are going to
be ready to go; wherever and whenever. We will be on the blocks
and ready to race. We have plenty of strong competition ahead
and we are looking forward to the challenge."
Balance and depth will be the keys to the upcoming campaign,
as the Bearcats look to replace a celebrated senior class and
improve on a historic 2006-07 season.
While Binghamton loses just four letterwinners from last year's
team that posted a 6-3 overall record and finished as runners-up
at the America East Championships, the Class of 2007 will be
difficult to replace.
The departing senior class leaves having set a combined 13 school
records during their time at BU, accumulated a 24-8 record in
the last three seasons, and putting the first swimmer in school
and conference history to qualify for the NCAA Division I Championships.
"Last year was truly a dream season. Our seniors had one
standout performance after another and delivered one of the best
championship performances that I have ever seen out of a team.
We lost three of the best swimmers that will ever come through
here. It will be nearly impossible to replace them, their focus,
and their performance in the classroom."
Despite the task of replacing
a large gap in points and leadership, this year's team returns
a talented and versatile core that is prepared to fill the void
and eager to leave its own mark on the program.
"The incoming class has really bolstered the middle of our
lineup," said Clark. "We are really looking for everybody
to raise their performance and contribute just a little more.
We will not be able to duplicate the performances at the top
of the lineup, but as a team if each person gives just a little
more, we can make up the difference."
Bearcats return 20 letterwinners from last year, highlighted
by top returnee junior Brenno Varanda
(St. Petersburg, Fla.).
Varanda leads a strong cast of BU breaststrokers and IM swimmers
for BU. He is a two-time defending America East 200 breast and
400 IM champion after swimming school-record times in both events
at last year's conference meet.
In addition, this past summer he qualified for senior nationals
in Indianapolis where he competed alongside some of the nation's
"Brenno continues to amaze
me," said Clark. "He has really matured and has just
been tearing up the pool so far this fall. We are very excited
to see what he can do this season."
With two years of experience under their belt, led by Varanda,
the Bearcats strong returning corps of junior swimmers will be
expected to take the next the step in 2007-08.
Junior sprinter Brian Koralewski
(Floral Park, N.Y.) is at the head of a group that peaked at
last year's conference meet.
As a sophomore, Koralewski recorded three top-six finishes in
the 50-, 100-, and 200-yard free events and was a part of two
record-setting relay wins at the conference meet. He also added
a ninth place finish in the 100 free at the ECAC meet.
Lorenz (Norwich, N.Y.), Andrew Palumbo
(Yorktown Heights, N.Y.), and Peter Rodrick
(Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.) all scored big for the Bearcats at the
2007 conference meet, each registering multiple top-10 finishes.
Classmate Michael Popper (Lido Beach,
N.Y.) is also expected to contribute in the sprint events.
were a bit overshadowed last year, but our junior class will
be noticed all year long," said Clark. "Varanda, Koralewski,
Palumbo, and Lorenz will all be fighting to be three-event finalists
in Feburary. Toss in Rodrick as a returning muliple-event finalist,
and a healthy Popper, and we have our core group that we will
look to for big swims in key moments."
The assignment of maintaining the squad's recent string of success
will also rest largely upon the shoulders of BU's returning underclassmen.
"Coming into last season, I wasn't sure whether we had an
impact class coming in or not. But, the boys made some noise
at the end of last year and have come back this fall as new swimmers.
They are better, stronger, and more confident and I fully expect
to see them continue to improve as the season progresses."
Sophomores John Blatchford (Amsterdam,
N.Y.), Alex Goldstein (Huntington,
N.Y.), and Brian Jacobs (Bloomingburg,
N.Y.), and Craig Juergens (Boylston,
Mass.) all made immediate contributions in their first collegiate
Blatchford clocked in at 1:57.38,
the eighth fastest 200 fly time in school history, en route to
a fifth place finish at the 2007 America East Championships.
The versatile Goldstein also excelled at the meet, scoring in
three events (200 fly, 400 IM and 1650 free).
Last season, Jacobs was a key
factor in middle-distance and distance events for the Bearcats.
He registered three top-ten finishes at the AE Championships
and already finds himself on the all-time Bearcat top-time list
in the 1000 and 1650 free.
Juergens was a triple-event
point-scorer at the conference meet, highlighted by a pair of
12th-place finishes. Sophomore Ziyad Rouhana
(Vestal, N.Y.) is also expected to compete in the distance events
The senior trio of Michael Britvan
(Pleasantville, N.Y.), Dylan Hobe (New
Windsor, N.Y.), and Bryan Kwiatkowski
(Garnerville, N.Y.) will be counted on to provide leadership
and experience as BU's tri-captains.
Britvan swam career-best times in a pair of backstroke events
(100 and 200) as well as the 500 free at last year's conference
Hobe placed eighth in the 100 breast at the AE Championship and
is one of the team's top returning breaststrokers.
Kwiatkowski was a triple-event point scorer at the conference
meet during his sophomore season.
"The three captains find themselves in a new position they
didn't need to prepare for previously because of past leadership.
The team is so together and they all have the makeup and focus
necessary to make the transition smoothly."
Also returning are seniors Jason Lapp
(Linwood, N.Y.) and Joseph Rogan (Ithaca,
N.Y.). Lapp recorded two top-10 finishes at conference championships,
while Rogan timed in a career-best 21.75 in the 50 free last
Ryan Graham (Vestal, N.Y.) leads a
trio of returning divers that will help the Bearcats in both
the 1-meter and 3-meter events. Last season, Graham placed fourth
in both dives at the conference championship.
Senior Matt Russo (Manhattan, N.Y.)
and sophomore Bob Nolte (Schenectady,
N.Y.) reached the finals of both the one- and three-meter championships
and will also add points on both boards for BU.
"We again expect Ryan to be outstanding on the boards. We
will also look to both Matt and Bob to show off some new dives
throughout the season."
Binghamton also welcomes five newcomers to the mix for the 2007-08
season, including a four-member freshman class. While it may
be a small class, all the newcomers come in with the potential
to put up points in the dual and championship meets.
Expected to lead the 2011 class is impact newcomer Jason
Chen (Livingston, N.J.). Chen's versatility makes him a threat
in the IM, backstroke and butterfly events, as well as on the
team's relay squads.
Coming off strong preseason performances Kevin
Kearney (Latham, N.Y.), Matthew McCort
(Commack, N.Y.) and Derek Rusinak
(Staten Island, N.Y.), as well as sophomore Rutgers transfer
Cole Courtemanche (Gardner, Mass.)
all figures to make an immediate contribution to BU's lineup.
"You can expect to see a different sort of makeup from this
year's team. We might struggle a bit in dual meets, but our improved
depth should make us stronger at the championship meet. Come
the end of the year, we will really see how we stack up."
Youth is the name of the game for the 2007-08 Binghamton women's
swimming and diving squad which features 19 underclassmen, including
nine freshmen and 10 sophomores.
"On the women's side, we are young, but we have great leadership.
I am hoping to really step up in conference this season, but
as much as we continue to improve, the rest of the conference
does as well. That being said, the goal is to take another step
forward, and have more of our women score at conference."
Bearcats will look to improve upon its seventh-place finish at
the America East Championships. BU posted a pair of dual meet
victories this season, highlighted by a solid victory over conference
rival Stony Brook.
Binghamton returns 23 letterwinners, led by sophomore Allyce
Brand (Highland Park, Ill.), who is coming off a stellar
freshman campaign in which she earned team MVP honors.
Brand was the highest-placing Bearcat at the America East Championships,
where she finished sixth in the 100 breaststroke. She was also
the team's only individual point scorer at the ECAC meet.
"Allyce continues to see the rewards of her hard work,"
said Clark. "She is excited and ready to get her sophomore
Senior tri-captains Amanda
Decker (Rhinebeek, N.Y.), Bridget Dormer
(Northport, N.Y.), and Nicole Sweeney
(Commack, N.Y.) head the list of other top returning point scorers.
Decker has steadily improved over the past two seasons and with
her experience and leadership, she figures to be an essential
component on this year's squad.
Dormer again is among the top
Bearcat competitors in both the IM and backstroke events. Last
season, she placed 16th in the 400 IM at 2007 America East Championships.
Sweeney was tabbed as the team's
Most Improved Swimmer last year on the women's side. She improved
nine spots, moving from 16th to 7th place, and cut 40 seconds
off her career-best time in the 1650 freestyle at the conference
meet. Sweeney was also a consolation finalist in the 200-yard
butterfly, finishing 11th.
The sophomore duo of Taryn
Ferrara (Morristown, N.J.) and Rita
Brodfuehrer (Syracuse, N.Y.) continue the youth movement
as consistent point scorers for BU. Ferrara recorded top-15 finishes
in both the 50- and 100-free events at the conference meet. Brodfuehrer
took 16th place and qualified for the ECAC meet in the 100 fly.
A tenacious competitor, junior Heather
Jennings (Ridge, N.Y.) returns as a solid contender in her
specialty event the 400-yard IM.
the list of newcomers is freshman Lyndsi
Worthington (Leawood, Kan.). Worthington was an All-American
backstroker and four-year letterwinner at Blue Valley North High
Freshman Nicole Sheridan (Garden
City, N.Y.) also figures to contribute in both the IM and breaststroke
events for the Bearcats. Newcomers Brittany Detlef (Rochester, N.Y.), Jordyn Kline (Amsterdam, N.Y.), and Kelsey Anderson (Penfield, N.Y.) highlight
the remaining members of a class that figures to make immediate
contributions to the BU lineup.
"The incoming class has fit right in with our program,"
said Clark. "They have come in this fall focused and really
are pushing our returnees to bring their effort to a higher level.
I expect they will bring us a lot of points."
The diving squad to be solid
again with three multiple-event diving finalists, all of whom
qualified for last year's ECAC Championships. Juniors Kate
Hassfurter (Horseheads, N.Y.) leads the Bearcat efforts on
the one-meter and three-meter boards.
Hassfurter is second on all-time Bearcat list in the three-meter
dive (270.60) and third in one-meter event (236.85) Last season,
she finished eighth in three-meter dive at 2007 America East
Championships and posted a sixth-place finish in the three-meter
dive at the ECAC meet.
"Kate will once again be our top women's diver--every year
she adds new dives and brings some pizzazz to the boards".
Gelfand (Syosset, N.Y.), and Kristin
Maney (New Paltz, N.Y.), along with freshman newcomer Elizabeth Esposito (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
also figure to score points for the Bearcat women.
"She'll be followed by
much improved classmates Kristin Maney and Melanie Gelfand, both
of whom should tally solid points all year long," said Clark.
"Elizabeth will grow into a contributor following their