While many students were spending spring break relaxing on a beach or shredding snowy slopes, members of the Keene State College Swimming and Diving team were jumping in head first to a pool of fierce competition.
Shahar Resman, Allison Bartlett, Cole Hogg, Chris Digiacomo and Ryan Boraski traveled to Shenandoah, Texas to compete in the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships.
The Owls left the championship with four All-American titles and two All-American honorable mention titles.
Bartlett was the only member of the women’s team to advance to the championship and, after missing a chance at the championship last year by two spots, Bartlett proved that this year was her year.
“I competed in the 50 freestyle, 100 freestyle and 200 freestyle. In the 50 freestyle I placed third overall to get All-American honors. I also broke the KSC team record. Getting All-American was a huge honor and I couldn’t be more excited,” Bartlett said.
Bartlett explained that having a strong mentality, staying calm and being focused were key aspects of her performance.
She continued to explain that some advice she got before the race was to enjoy it and have fun.
“Racing at NCAA championships is a rare opportunity so it is important to enjoy every minute of it,” Bartlett said.
Unlike Bartlett, junior Shahar Resman has not only competed in the completion multiple times but also earned his seventh All-American title in Texas this year.
Resman swam the 500 free on the first day twice (morning and afternoon) then the 200 freestyle on the second day also twice, then competed in the 800 free relay on the third day, and finished the last day with the 1,650 free and the 400 free relays. Resman earned All-American accolades in the 500 freestyles, the 200 freestyle, the 800 free relay, and the 1,650 freestyle.
Despite his personal achievments, Resman said that his favorite moment was winning the 800 free with his fellow teammates and having all of them come back to Keene as All-Americans. Now that the swim season is over at Keene, Resman plans to focus his efforts on open water swimming.
“Now my focus is on my open water events (10km swimming) and I have a very important race in May that will be the competition determining criterion for the World Championship in the Summer and that will be held in Kazan, Russia. So I have a lot of work in front me because it is not going to be easy,” Resman said.
Along with Resman, junior Cole Hogg also made his third appearance at the NCAA Championships this year.
At the race Hogg competed in the 200 medley relay, 200 free relay, 400 free relay and 800 free relay and qualified in the individual events like the 200 freestyle and 200 butterfly.
Hogg earned All-American honors by placing seventh as a part of the 800 free relay and received All-American Honorable mention in the 200 and 400 freestyle races.
Next year Hogg will be a senior and as way to keep his success going strong he plans to focus on dry-land workouts to build strength.
“Due to my recent success, all I want to do is keep going so that I can continue improving so that I can finish my senior year off better than I could possibly imagine,” Hogg said.
He continued, “For swimmers and most other competitive athletes like myself, we do not have an offseason or rather a physical offseason. Instead it is a mental break from all the hard work and pressure that we put on ourselves to do our best.”
Although these swimmers were working hard while others were relaxing they still had some time to have some fun and enjoy the trip and bond as a team.
“When our relay had a great swim and we each
swam our leg of the relay as best as we could, we were driving back to the hotel and each one of us was laughing and having fun as if there was nothing that could ruin our day. I felt that we had come together as a group to the utmost extent at that moment,” Hogg said. He continued, “This years NCAA trip was my favorite by far but I know that the KSC swim team and I will work hard to send a much larger group to NCAA’s next year in Greensborough, North Carolina. Then that will become my favorite NCAA trip.”
Kendall Pope can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org