Montclair State University’s men’s and women’s swimming & diving teams had their season debut on Feb. 20. The start could not have gone better as it was a clean sweep for both teams over rivals Ramapo College and William Paterson University. This was a virtual meet, so each college swam at its own individual pools.
The virtual format was nothing new to the Red Hawks as they were able to compete back in November against the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and the Merchant Marine Academy in the first-ever virtual swim meet in school history.
Red Hawks head coach Brian McLaughlin and diving coach Jenny Ullman added to their impressive careers with an opening week sweep. The men’s team beat William Patterson 168-68 and Ramapo 144-97 and the women’s team defeated the Pioneers 165-61 and the Roadrunners 140-93.
Leading the way for the men’s team was sophomore butterfly/sprint free swimmer Samuel Golovin and freshman backstroke/freestyle swimmer Ryan Kappes.
Golovin took first in both the 50 and 200-yard freestyle races. He also helped the Red Hawks win two relay races, winning him his first-ever New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) male swimmer of the week.
In his first collegiate regulated meet, Kappes outperformed his opponents in the first two men’s swimming events where he took first both times. One was the 200-yard medley relay and the other the 500-yard freestyle.
Taylor Waddleton, a junior women’s freestyle/backstroke swimmer, is happy with how the younger athletes improved so far this season.
“Depth wise we look so great,” Waddleton said. “We have a lot of freshmen. They have so much potential. When we have a full season they are going to do so well.”
Waddleton usually swims distance for the Red Hawks, but with very few races in that department, she changed it up for this meet and swam a couple of sprints. She won the 200-yard freestyle and placed third in both the 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard backstroke.
However, the star of the sprint events was freshman phenom Lidia Boguslawska, a freestyle swimmer from the U.S. Virgin Islands, who secured three individual wins in her first-ever college meet.
McLaughlin is excited about Boguslawska’s future with the team.
“I think she is going to have a great career,” McLaughlin said. “As we transition into next year she is going to have a lights out sophomore year.”
Boguslawska won the NJAC rookie swimmer of the week and was joined by senior backstroke/freestyle swimmer Emily Rothamel, who received NJAC swimmer of the week. Both women were pivotal for the Red Hawks in this meet.
Two major storylines in those outcomes come from the women’s reign over William Patterson extending to 12 straight meet wins, and the Red Hawks snapping Ramapo’s five-meet win streak over them.
McLaughlin was happy with the performances of both of his teams.
“I think both teams swam really well,” said McLaughlin. “I think we are going to break some pool records on March 5 and 6.”
Both swimming and diving events took place last weekend. However, all dives were listed as exhibitions since the teams were unable to share judges.
The next meet for the women’s team is on March 5 and 6 in a multi-team dual meet between Montclair State, Kean University and The College of New Jersey (TCNJ), taking place over a span of three sessions. The men will just be competing against TCNJ on the same date over the span of three sessions. The meets will take place in-person for the first time this season at Panzer Pool.
This will be the last meet for both teams, as they are looking to finish a shortened 2021 season strong.