Baruch men's and women's swimming teams conquer home opener
Along with the anxiety of heading into a new meet, excitement filled the air across the Athletic and Recreation Center on Monday, Nov. 16, as contestants from Baruch and York colleges headed to their starting blocks, hoping to give their respective teams a first conference win of the season. After three road contests against William Paterson University, Queens College and Adelphi University, the Baruch men’s and women’s swimming teams returned to the ARC Aquatic Complex to host York College in their CUNYAC home opener. Both Baruch teams finished 40 points ahead of their competitors to wrap up the eventful night, which included a 10-year-old record broken in time trials.
In the first event of the evening, the women’s team crushed the 200-meter medley relay with a time of 2:24.12. Freshman Gabrielle Huezo kicked-off her collegiate debut with a solid 45.58 in the opening lap, trailing her teammate, Beliana Krashi, by just a couple of seconds. Amy Sung took the lead back with a 35.61 run in the second leg, edging out second place by more than four seconds. Yee Chung Phang cruised by with a healthy lead before tagging Wendy Ambrosio for a dominating anchor leg finish.
With another victory under her belt, Ambrosio continued to add to her already impressive rookie season, showing great poise and providing versatility to a young roster. Ambrosio had dominated the distance events early in the season, winning the 1,000-meter and 500-meter freestyles in each of her first two meets of her collegiate career against William Paterson University and Queens College. Ambrosio later added another individual win in the 200-meter freestyle with a time of 2:23.16. Competing in the sport since she was 10 years old, the Bronx native looks to have a major impact as the season progresses.
Rose Lee, senior and returning captain, won all three of her individual events in the 800-meter freestyle, 200-individual medley and 100-meter freestyle. “Each season comes with its own unique set of challenges,” said Lee. “Besides for the relays, each team member races as his or her own individual event, this year we won’t we focusing on racing one another, but for one another. So long as we race for one another, the CUNYAC championships will just be another obstacle to overcome. As a veteran and senior of the team, my goal for this season is to set a standard for the future bearcats to exceed.” The women’s team finished the meet with 100 points and took first place in eight of the total 12 women’s events.
On the men’s side, the Bearcats were just as dominant as the women, scoring a season-high 116 team points. The sophomore trio of David Scholes, David Pejovic and Andrew Lubrino, along with senior Jonathan Hla, led things off for the Bearcats by winning the 200-meter medley relay in a below 2-minute finish to beat out second place by over 20 seconds. Baruch secured the top-three spots as York’s only relay team finished the event last.
Jacky Lau, senior captain, capped off the brilliant night with a record-breaking performance in the 100-meter medley, finishing in first place with a time of 1:09.20. Lau also put his name in the record books as he reached the 1,000th point of his Bearcat career.
“It’s just one step in our season against our CUNY opponents, that’s how we look at it,” said head coach Lampasso. “It’s always great to win the home opener in front of your fans and school mates.” Despite the up and down start, the Bearcats have shown a glimpse of potential with their younger roster stepping up in crucial moments.
The Baruch men’s and women’s team will continue their CUNYAC schedule in a tough away meet against the College of Staten Island on Friday, Nov. 20. The match ended after press time.