TOWSON, Md. -- Last season, the Goucher men's swimming team broke six team records en route to winning four dual meets for the first time since 2004-05. With a vast majority of that squad returning, head coach Tom Till is hopeful that the 2013-14 roster can continue those positive strides.
The Gophers will make their season debut at 1 p.m. tomorrow with a home meet against conference rival Susquehanna.
"Our returning sophomore class is going to be a huge asset going into this year," Till said. "And our freshmen bring some much needed depth to the program. I'm really excited to see what this team can accomplish, not only in regards to breaking team records, but also at the conference championship and hopefully beyond that."
Brothers Morgan Richter (Cleburne, Texas/Cleburne) and Colin Richter (Cleburne, Texas/Cleburne) headline the group of six sophomores. Morgan became the first male swimmer in Goucher history to win a Landmark Conference championship event last February, breaking a school record in the process in the 200-yard butterfly. He also broke the school's 100 fly mark earlier at the championships. Colin, meanwhile, set a new school record in the 100 backstroke, and the duo paired with Sam Davis (Wilmington, Del./Wilmington Friends) and Brendan McFadden to set new team marks at the 400 and 800 freestyle relays.
"They both had great debut seasons," Till said of the twins. "And they're great leaders by example. I think the dynamic that they bring, the concept of hard work translating into good swims, it really rubs off on the others. They've given this program a huge shot in the arm."
Till also singled out the performance of sophomore Cody Nelson (Duanesburg, N.Y./Schalmont), who recorded the top team time in the 200 breaststroke last year and could be counted on to race in a wide variety of events.
"Cody brought a lot of depth and strength to the program last year," Till said. "He has a versatility that no one else on the team possesses. We could go into any given meet and slot him in wherever he was needed for that particular day."
Davis, who turned in the fourth fastest 50 free time in school history last year in his debut season, will also be someone to watch.
"Last year, Sam walked on to the program, and he was really a diamond in the rough for us," Till remarked. "He will continue to shine and improve, and I'm excited to see where he can go."
The remainder of the 15-man roster includes senior team captains Patrick McNeel (Flagstaff, Ariz./Flagstaff) and Dean Silverman (Chappaqua, N.Y./Horace Greeley), as well as a group of five incoming freshmen. With only four scoring swimmers departing from last season, Goucher will aim to improve on last year's 4-6 dual record and sixth-place team finish in the conference.
"Our hopes are to continue our improvement," Till said. "To what level we can do that, we'll have to wait and see. Our first meet against Susquehanna will give us a good opportunity to see where we are in terms of training, and then we'll keep working from there."
The full men's roster can be viewed here, while the 2013-14 schedule is available here. Live stats from tomorrow's meet can be accessed by downloading the free Meet Mobile app (iPhone, iPad compatible) and searching for Goucher.