Swimming and diving are two unique team sports that individuals sometimes categorize not to be. A team’s wins and losses are composed of players’ individual scores. It is not like other sports where they’re working together on the field, or in the gym, but instead they’re alone in a lane or up on a diving board.
Even though the stats make up the record, the team’s support system is needed behind every swimmer in order for them to be successful as a unit. Swimming forces an individual to be disciplined in a different mindset compared to other sports, and requires a special team moral that head coach Yohancey Kingston plans to enforce this season. Yohancey Kingston is the head coach of the Men’s swimming team and is in his first year.
“[Swimming] is very much so a team sport, because even if someone had a bad race, it’s not only that person’s job to get themselves together, but it’s the teams job to pick them up as well,” Kingston said.
With only three swimmers returning this year, Kingston is hoping to raise the overall team unity.
“It is a huge component to winning meets and performing well,” Kingston said.
Alicia Lampasso-Dillon continues to be the head coach for the women’s swimming team. She held this position since 1988.
On Oct. 31, the Knights competed in their first meet where they swept Pace and York in a tri-match. A meet is split up into six lanes divided into sprint, mid distance, distance and scored in a point system based on first, second and third place.
Sophomore Matt Stypulkowski, a sprinter, received first place in three of his events.
“We had guys running up and down the pool alongside our swimmers cheering them on and the environment was filled with support from everyone,” Stypulkowski said.
Stypulkowski also emphasized the difference between swimming in an individual race and then participating in a relay, which are valued more on the point system. When swimming a relay, a person stands at the front of the board and as the person swimming in front of them comes in, then they step forward and jump over them.
“It’s more difficult and definitely requires us to work as a team in order to find that rhythm and cut time,” Stypulkowski said.
The diving team placed in top positions on the scoreboard as well. Diving has a category for each dive that includes: inward, back, forward, reverse and twist; each dive requires 2 of each category to be completed.
The women’s swimming team started their season with three first place finishes at Pace University. On the women’s diving team, freshmen Kailey White won both her one meter springboard diving competitions in her first QC meet.
“It’s different from high school for the fact that college requires 11 dives rather than six,” said White.
The women’s team has added seven freshman to their roster and hope that their fitness and determination pushes them into a strong season.
White also mentioned how the root of the bond between the swimming and diving team comes from practice.
“In practice we like to focus on ‘race pace,’ skills and things that I saw from the meet that I didn’t like,” Kingston said.
Both swim teams practice by helping each other break skills down each day, and then combine them in a race like situation on the last day.
“If we had trouble catching water, the next day at practice we use paddles to help,” Kingston said.
Catching water is a stroke technique where swimmers have their arm in a certain direction and cup their hands to pull more water with them, making them faster.
“Our first meet was certainly a great way to start the season and we hope the rest of our meets are just as strong” said Stypulkowski.
The Knights compete in their next meet against The College of Staten Island on Nov. 3.