Finishing up their best seasons in recent history, both men’s and women’s swimming are going into the Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) Championships with confidence. While the men’s team ended their season 12-3 overall and 5-1 in the CAC, the women’s team went 14-1 overall and 6-0 in the conference for the first time in the program’s history.
Both of the teams came out on top of their conferences, with the men sharing the title in a three-way tie with University of Mary Washington, whom they surrendered their only loss to on Jan. 13, and York College of Pennsylvania. Both squads are coached by Andre Barbins, who is in his 13th season as head coach.
Junior Kelly Heyde, a captain of the women’s team, was very proud of their season’s success. “It’s our best season since [the program] started. It’s like an out of body experience. It’s really cool,” she said.
Though Heyde has been a frontrunner of the team all season, earning CAC Athlete of the Week in December and winning multiple key individual events throughout the season, she attributes the ultimate success to the entire team. “This year, we had a large incoming freshman class,” said Heyde. “We bonded as a team from the very beginning of the season, and it’s translated very well into competition.”
Heyde remembers the team’s best and toughest meet of the year as Mary Washington, whom the Seahawks defeated 122-83 on Jan. 13. Just coming off the team winter training trip in Florida, Heyde felt the team didn’t necessarily swim their fastest or make their best times, but “we swam our butts off,” she said.
Top performances of the men’s season came by junior Billy DeBoissiere, who earned CAC Swimmer of the Week honors four times and set the top times in the CAC for the 500 Freestyle, the 1000 Freestyle, and the 100 Breaststroke individual events. Junior Cameron Hedquist also landed in the top five times for multiple events including the 50 Freestyle, 500 Freestyle, 100 Freestyle, 200 Freestyle, and 100 Backstroke.
As for the championships, which begin for both squads on Friday, February 17 at St. Mary’s in the Michael P. O’Brien Aquatic Center, Heyde said, “We just really want to win. After coming in second place last year, I think that’s ultimately what we’re looking for.”