TOWSON, Md. — A season’s worth of training all builds up to this weekend for the Goucher swimming teams, as the Gophers head to Scranton, Pa., for the Landmark Conference Championships, a three-day marathon event which begins tomorrow morning.
“Ideally, you’re always looking for a big drop in times at the end of the season,” head coach Thomas Till said. “Our swimmers are going to be fully rested for this meet, so we’re hoping that everyone will be at their peak performance.”
Trials will be held each morning beginning at 10 a.m., with championship races taking place in the evening. Finals will begin at 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, while Sunday’s title races start at 5 p.m.
At last year’s championships, the Goucher men swam to a sixth place finish, coming up just short of fifth-place Catholic, while the women slotted into the eighth position.
Six school records fell on the men’s side at that meet, highlighted by Morgan Richter (Cleburne, Texas/Cleburne) winning the 200-yard butterfly race to claim Goucher’s first individual title since joining the conference in 2007. Till believes this year’s team has the potential to break as many as nine records this weekend.
“We have a very strong sophomore class,” he remarked. “I would say that is where the bulk of our points are going to come from. We also expect to have a lot more depth in the middle through our freshmen class.”
Morgan Richter, Colin Richter (Cleburne, Texas/Cleburne) and Cody Nelson (Duanesburg, N.Y./Schalmont) lead Goucher’s group of sophomores, while junior Sam Davis (Wilmington, Del./Wilmington Friends) and freshmen Grant Gerber (Portland, Maine/Casco Bay) and Ben Shriner (Arlington, Mass./Arlington) will also look to add to the Gophers’ final point tally.
Till hopes to see a few school records bested on the women’s side as well, with junior Nicole Craver (Spring Grove, Pa./Spring Grove Area) likely to lead the charge. Other swimmers to watch include Catherine Gepner (West Allenhurst, N.J./Ocean Twp.), Kellyn Brower (Glen Ridge, N.J./Glen Ridge), Sydney Patterson (Dallas, Texas/Woodrow Wilson) and Lillian Eden (Ipswich, Mass./Westover (Conn.)), as the Gophers aim to improve on last year’s total of 171 points.
The Goucher men enter the weekend with a dual record of 3-6 (1-5 Landmark). The women completed their dual season at 2-9 (0-7).
The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, winners of the first six men’s conference titles since the Landmark’s formation, will look to continue its dominance in 2013-14, while Susquehanna will be striving for a fourth-consecutive championship on the women’s side.