BABSON PARK, Mass.—Coming off a campaign that included setting new program records in 11 events and recording its most points at the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Championships since 2014, the Babson College men's and women's swimming & diving program hopes to continue its success in 2019-20.
Under the direction of fourth-year head coach Kristy Martin Jones, the Beavers return 11 swimmers from a team that finished with a 9-4 mark in dual meets last winter. The Green and White followed up its regular season with strong four-day performance at the NEWMAC Championships, which produced the program's highest finish (fourth) since 2012.
SEVEN AND COUTING
Senior Alex Damiecki (Centerville, Mass.) enters the year holding four individual school records and seven program marks in all. After setting a new Babson record in the 100-yard individual medley (54.22) in 2018, he posted program marks in the 50-yard butterfly (22.91), 100-yard butterfly (49.38) and 200-yard butterfly (1:52.81) last year. Damiecki also was a part of three more school records in the relay events.
CHASING FAST TIMES
Juniors Lachlan Dibbayawan (Bangkok, Thailand) and Taras Polakoff (Orange County, Calif.) are both looking to build on successful sophomore campaigns that ended with each of their respective names in the Babson record book. Dibbayawan broke the program's 100-yard breaststroke record (57.85) and was part of two more record-setting performances in the 200- and 400-yard medley relay, while Polakoff set new school marks in the 100 backstroke (52.43) and 200 backstroke (1:54.96). He also joined Dibbayawan on the Beavers' record-setting 400 medley relay squad.
Sophomore Aaron Huynh (Mission Viejo, Calif.) burst onto the scene with a school record in his collegiate debut and finished his rookie campaign with two program marks and three top-10 results at the NEWMAC Championships. He broke the Beavers' 50-yard backstroke record in the opening dual meet of the year against UMass Dartmouth and then bettered it with a time of 23.72 at the conference meet. He also set a new record in the 200 freestyle (1:41.92) to place fifth at the league championships, in addition to placing seventh in the 500 free and 10th in the 100 free.
GOING THE DISTANCE
Senior Jack Lucero (Huntington Beach, Calif.) and junior Connor O'Brien (Tempe, Ariz.) both recorded their top times of the year in the distance freestyle events at the conference meet in February. Lucero recorded his third top-10 finish in the 1650 free at the NEWMAC Championships with his seventh-place result, and also added a second consecutive top-10 showing in the 400 IM. O'Brien registered the top time of his career in the 1650 free to place 14th overall at the league meet.
Senior Michael Cerny (Windsor Locks, Conn.) and junior Kevin Luu (Malden, Mass.) both produced career-best times in multiple events last season. Cerny recorded his top times in the 50 freestyle and 100 and 200 butterfly, while Luu posted career-best times in the 50 freestyle, 50 back and 200 back.
Despite last year's fourth-place finish at the conference meet, the Green and White was picked to come in sixth when the NEWMAC released its preseason coaches' poll on Wednesday.
CIRCLE YOUR CALENDARS
Babson begins the 2019-20 campaign on Friday at UMass Dartmouth and will compete in three straight dual meets on the road before hosting Springfield in its home opener on November 10. The Beavers also welcome Clark to Morse Pool on November 16.