Rollins Swim made history at the Sunshine State Conference (SSC) Championship this past weekend in Clearwater, Fla. The women placed third overall, and the men placed fifth.
For both teams, this was the highest they have ever placed at the SSC Championship since their inaugural meet in 2011. Last year, women placed sixth and men placed last.
The team beat the odds at the beginning of their season when its previous head coach, Kyle Berg, left suddenly, adding to the weight of their accomplishments at this meet.
Each day of the meet consisted of about five different events for men and women. Every swimmer registered under an event got the chance to swim their best time in the morning, and if they placed in the top 16, they went back for finals in the evening.
When swimmers made it to finals, they scored points for their team. The team with the highest amount of points at the end of the four days won the championship.
The Tars broke almost 20 school records across the four-day meet in relays and individual events alike, as well as placing in the top three in a few events.
Connor Xu (‘23) broke school records in the Men’s 1000 Freestyle and 1650 Freestyle, as well as in the Men’s 400 Individual Medley relay and in the 800 Freestyle relay.
“One of my proudest moments of the meet was getting to swim in finals at night and bounce back from some poor races,” Xu said.
Beatriz Olivieri (‘22) swam the 100 Butterfly and broke the school’s record with a time of 55.38 and placed third overall in the event.
Anna Van Zyverden (‘20), Hannah Brockman (‘21), Sydney Willis (‘22), and Maya Thompson (‘21) were medalists in the Women’s 400 Freestyle Relay, placing third overall with a time of 3:28.60.
Willis also placed third overall in the 500 Freestyle event, where she swam a 4:57.18.
Chase Benton (‘21) broke the school record in the 100 Butterfly with a time of 49.57, placing twelfth in finals.
“Our team accomplished amazing things this season, and we did an excellent job supporting one another,” Benton said. “I hope to move up in ranking next year on the men’s side and push our way into the top three like the women were able to do this year.”
Other Rollins records that were broken include the Men’s 200 Butterfly by Asa Marvel (‘21), the Men’s 100 and 200 Breaststroke by Dan Sulkowski (‘21), and the Men’s 200 Individual Medley by Alex Norcini (‘21).
Van Zyverden, Brockman, Thompson, and Samantha Shelley (‘22) placed second overall in the Women’s 200 Freestyle Relay, the highest any Rollins swimmers ranked the whole meet.
Although this it is not yet guaranteed, some swimmers may move on to Nationals, where they will swim against all Division II teams. This means they made ‘B cuts’ and are eligible to be invited by the National Collegiate Athletic Association to swim again.
The Tars will find out about their eligibility by the end of the month.