KSC Swimming and Diving team hope for another bright season

Brian Schnee

Equinox Staff


Imagine balancing a full course load of classes with 5 a.m. practices  and a second practice at 4 p.m. These are the ever-present challenges of being a Collegiate-level Swimming and Diving athlete.

For both the men’s and women’s teams, this so-called imagination is their reality and the hard-working reality funnels down to describe the reputation of the Owls swimming program.

Looking at last season alone, the women’s team took home their sixth straight Little East Conference championship with sophomore Diana Pimer winning LEC Rookie of the Year. Owls Head Coach, Jack Fabian was selected as Coach of the Year and graduate Jillian Whitaker was named Swimmer of the Year.

The men’s team finished twenty-fifth in the NCAA Division III CollegeSwimming.com Coaches’ Poll last season.

District Academic All-American, Austin Harris and three-time All-American, Drew Ledwith led the men’s team during the competition. In addition to personal accolades, both teams were Academic All-Americans, the first time in history both teams achieved the honor in the same season.

“I was pretty happy with the program last year,” Fabian said. “We’re trying to get a group of swimmers back to the NCAAs.”

Both Harris and Ledwith return to the Owls Men’s squad this season. Ledwith, a junior, finished second place in the NCAA mile-swim event last year. He spends nearly five hours a day in the pool, basically calling it home. “Everything for me is pretty much about swimming,” Ledwith said. “It takes up a lot of my life.”

Ledwith is chomping at the bit with his long-term goal set in place: winning first place at the NCAA’s this upcoming year. When asked about preparing  for the season and any changes in his workout regiment, Ledwith said that he focuses on sprinting in the pool rather than a slower paced, longer swim. “I’m doing a lot more sprinting style work which should help with my speed” Ledwith said. “But I also starting lifting this year so I hope that pays off.”

Senior sprinter Austin Harris sustained an injury to his right hand and is rehabilitating to get back in the water soon.

He anticipates that four weeks down the road, he’ll be ready to go. However, Harris will miss a few dual meets coming up soon on the schedule which could affect the team’s performance. “It might affect the relay team,” Harris said.

When it comes to both teams as a whole, the roster has nearly doubled in size since last season. Fabian said that the new roster size can help when it comes to competition with larger programs.

In terms of the team’s overall work ethic and workout regiment, Fabian uses the full 19 weeks of the season for preparation, training and competing.

“From day one, we hope to get the team lifting and doing strength and conditioning,” Fabian said. “We want them in the pool as much as possible.”

“We had a good turnout for all of our voluntary work outs in the early part of year,” Fabian said. “This indicates that we should have a good season.”

Ledwith’s hope for the team is come in the Top 10 at the end of this season. The men’s diving team returned Josh Tuller and welcomes freshman Rich Enders, who appears to be a bright prospect, both on the board and in the pool. Ledwith has high hopes for Tuller this season.

“Coaches told me that he’s got a pretty good shot to go to nationals this year which would be really good for him,” Ledwith said.

Ledwith and Harris agree that Owls Head Coach Jack Fabian has improved them as swimmers and citizens. “He knows everything about the body and swimming,” Harris said.

“He knows what he’s doing and it makes you want to swim.”

“He pushes you and wants you to do your best,” Ledwith said. “As a person, I feel like after these past few years working with Jack, there’s no job I can’t handle.”

The Owls continue their growth in the preseason and keep their focus on the bright season ahead. Keene  State College  hosts Tufts University on Sunday, Nov. 18 in the Spaulding Gymnasium Pool.


Brian Schnee can be contacted

at bschnee@keene-equinox.com


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