Women's Swimming Preview

Head coach Jim Dailey will look to a talented group of underclassmen to boost the women's team in 2001-02.

Junior tri-captain Brenda Thayer is expected to contribute heavily to the 2001-02 Leopard squad this season.

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Oct. 10, 2001

EASTON, Pa. (www.lafayette.edu) - The women's swimming and diving team will depend on a talented group of underclassmen to improve on its dual meet record from last season and compete for a higher standing in the Patriot League.

"I look forward to our captains establishing a team identity and push hard for our team to be successful," said head coach Jim Dailey. "Their efforts will be rewarded by a season record over .500 and all of our team records being broken. We have the talent and the people our on the team that can accomplish just that task."

Led by junior tri-captains Erika Hoke, Brenda Thayer and Nancy Haystrand, the Leopards look to regain a team standing that reflects several outstanding individual achievements from last season. Hoke, Thayer and Haystrand are expected to contribute heavily and look to repeat their performance in qualifying for the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Championships.

Thayer continued her dominance in the individual medley and distance freestyle events last season, and is expected to contribute in both events. Haystrand will likely continue to turn heads as she broke her own previous school record of 2:10.64 in the 200-meter butterfly with a new mark of 2:10.42. Hoke is expected to challenge those around her while competing in the 100 and 200 backstroke events.

Junior Ellen Rogers will race the 200 and 400-meter individual medley events for the Leopards after a strong performance last season.

"Improvements from Ali Scudder and Alison Hindenlang in the backstroke events, Meredith Smith in the sprint freestyle events and Christine Williams in the breaststroke events will all but guarantee success for the Leopards," Dailey said.

The sophomore class is full of talent that continues to grow in every event as witnessed at last year's Patriot League Championships. The Leopards were led by Carrie Abildgaard who scored in all three of her individual events. Liz Tutschek performed well in the 50 free and 100 fly while classmate Maura Dailey scored in the 200 and 500 freestyle events.

Diver Alana Anzalone is expected to continue her reign on the diving boards after an impressive freshman campaign in which she swept the top places in the one- and three- meter events six times last season. Several other sophomores are expected to contribute next year including Erin Malone, Mindy Saia, Kate Ehling, Jessica Howell O'Neill, Rachel Rosenand Jayme MacKinnon.

"What the senior class lacks in numbers, it makes up for in team spirit and athletic performance," coach Dailey said. He is looking for a great season from sprinters Leah Gruenke and Katie Duffy in the 50, 100 and 200 freestyle events. Diver Claire Kesicke is expected to perform well on the boards in her final season of competition.

"I know if the team continues to be motivated and focuses on training, we can break all of our team records and move up the Patriot League team standings at Championships in February 2002," coach Dailey said.