Diving in a new season

Season preview

Swimmers step up, take your mark, get set, GO!

And they're off. The Swimming and Diving team season has officially begun, and AU's teams are ready than ever to leave the Patriot League and the NCAA in their wake.

Head coach Mark Davin wholeheartedly believes in his teams and knows the results of their hard work will pay off soon.

"We've been training very well, we really are," Davin said. "I'm very pleased with how things are going at this point."

On the Men's side seniors Ethan Bassett and Dominick Szabo are expected to lead the team. Last year, Bassett was named to the All-Patriot League Team and set league, meet and pool records when he took first in the 200-yard breaststroke at the PL Championships in a time of 2"00.01. While there, he also set the pool record in the 400-yard individual medley in a time of 3:57.82. Not to mention, Bassett earned the NCAA "B" cut in the 200-yard breaststroke.

Szabo had an unbelievable season in 2002-03 earning All-American honors by placing eighth in the 100-yard breaststroke in 53.77. Additionally, he qualified for the Olympic Trials in the 100-yard breaststroke at the U.S. Nationals with a time of 1:03.27. Szabo set a new PL Championship meet and D. Kinney Natatorium record in the 100-yard breaststroke with a first-place time of 54.89. The bottom line is that Szabo has been setting records since he arrived at AU, and will continue.

On the other hand, the Women's team has senior Jessica Lidstrom and junior Lian Tay to lead the team.

Lidstrom is ranked second all-time in the 100- and 200-yard freestyle, fifth in the 50-yard freestyle and sixth in the 200-yard individual medley. She was named the PL Scholar-Athlete of the Year, selected to the PL Academic Honor Roll and took third in both the 100- and 200-yard freestyle at the PL Championship. Her times were 52.57 and 1:53.27, respectively.

Although Tay studied abroad in Rome last year, she is looked upon as a strong leader. During the 2001-02 season she was named to the PL Academic Honor Roll and set a personal best in the 100-yard butterfly at the PL Championship with a time of 1:05.42.

This year's newcomer to the PL, Navy, will be a tough competitor on the Men's side. Additionally, last year's PL Champion, Bucknell, will put up a fight to the end. For the Women, Bucknell and Navy will also be the teams to beat.

"It will be a battle [in the PL], and I expect to be in that battle," Davin said. "If everyone does their best individually, the team score will take care of itself."

Both teams dive back into action Friday, Nov. 14 at 6 p.m., when they travel to Navy, where they will also compete against Bucknell.

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