D.C. Teams to Kick Off Season at Potomac Relays

Photo Courtesy: Samad Ismayilov

By Mark McCluskey, Swimming World Intern.

On September twenty-eighth, the swim season will begin for most of the Washington D.C. college teams with the Potomac Relays, hosted by American University at the Reeves Aquatic Center.

Teams will compete in an all-relay, no individual event meet. Some of the events include the 1,000 yard relay, which features teams of two each swimming a 500, or the 300 IM relay that calls for a team of three to each swim a 100 IM. These unusual events allow a breath of fresh air to start the season. While the events are unique, the competition will be strong; these teams are very evenly matched and have all added strong recruiting classes.

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Photo Courtesy: Facebook, @MasonSwimDive

Last year, the George Mason University men and women were both able to win the meet, with the women finishing 36 points ahead of second place and the men finishing 56 points ahead of the next closest team. This year, the Patriots have managed to add a huge recruiting class with eight men and ten women, so they will be looking to repeat their victory. Two stand-out recruits include Will Rastatter, who joins the team after a very successful high school career in Pennsylvania, and Laura Hodge, an incredibly talented all-around swimmer from Virginia. George Mason’s next meet after the Potomac Relays will be on October thirteenth when they host the University of Delaware.

 

Howard University was in attendance at last year’s relays, with the women coming in third and the men finishing in second. This year, they have added seven recruits – two on the men’s side and five on the women’s side. One recruit to watch is Miguel Davis, a D.C. native, who brings strength  to Howard’s breaststroke team. Another is Madison Freeland, a Pennsylvanian who excels in mid-distance and distance events. After the Potomac Relays, the Bison will return to American on October twelfth for their next meet, where they will swim in a tri meet against American and Manhattan College.

american_university_team_photo

Photo Courtesy: Facebook, @AU.SwimDive

The hosts, American University, finished last year with the women coming in second and the men in third. This year, they have also added a large recruiting class, with eight women and six men joining the Eagles. While they have a lot of potential stars, two to keep our eyes on are Luke Bennett and Kyra Manson. Bennett joins the team adding depth to the Eagles’ mid-distance freestyle and butterfly after excelling in Georgia. Manson, a transfer from Penn State, will bring strength in sprint freestyle and butterfly. American’s next meet will be a tri meet on October fifth, hosted by Loyola University, where they will also compete against the Virginia Military Institute.

Georgetown University will also be at the relays this year, with the men and women’s teams both finishing in fourth place last year. With eleven recruits evenly split between both teams – the men adding five swimmers and the women adding six – they will be strong competitors this year. Brett Sherman, an Indiana native, is a freshman to watch. He specializes in distance freestyle and backstroke. Lillian Clisham will make her debut for Georgetown after coming from Connecticut, where she shined in mid-distance freestyle events. The Hoyas’ next meet will be a home meet where they will face off against Davidson on October sixth.

The Potomac Relays are a staple to the beginning of the Washington D.C. collegiate swim season. It has become a tradition for D.C. teams to begin their season at the relays and see which recruits are going to stand out and which veterans will lead their teams to victory. It’s looking to be a very exciting meet and season for all of these teams.

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Author: Mark McCluskey

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Mark McCluskey is a senior captain on the Howard University swimming and diving team where he specializes in sprint freestyle. He has been swimming competitively since he was four years old, growing up swimming for the Penobscot Bay Sailfish in Rockport, Maine.

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