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Fordham Swimmers ‘Go the Distance’

by Nolan Silbernagel

Summary of Day 1 Action

The 800 Freestyle relay: by far the longest and most grueling relay event that there is in swimming. This lengthy event truly tests a swimmer’s ability to swim at a quick pace for a long period of time; something that requires tremendous skill and intense training. This is the relay that is long enough that if a swimmer does not pace themself correctly, then they will burn out and have a poor finish. However, if a swimmer is not aggressive enough during the race, then they will end up behind the competition. It is the ultimate conundrum in swimming.

It seems like Fordham swimmers have found out the answer to this puzzle.

The first display of this swimming mastery was put on by the Lady Rams. Going up against powerhouse and bitter rival Richmond, the quartet of Brie Ryan, Kara Field, Alex Wessel, and Courtney Collyer had their work cut out for them. Richmond’s Lauren Hines (1:49.73) and Charotte Brackett (1:48.82) put up impressive splits to give the Spiders a commanding lead halfway through the race.

That’s when senior Alex Wessel dove in. Powering her way to a very respectable time of 1:50.06, Wessel was able to pass Richmond’s Jessie Krebbs (1:53.69) and give senior anchor Courtney Collyer a slight lead. It was more than enough for Collyer. The standout senior raced her way to a 1:49.81 split, compared to Richmond’s anchor Alexi Kuska’s 1:52.01. The Fordham Women were able to complete the remarkable come from behind victory and won the event in a time of 7:21.56 which just misses the school record by .8 seconds.

The Fordham Men also had a memorable night thanks to their 800 Freestyle relay. While the squad of Shintaro Noguchi (1:41.40), Pat Militi (1:43.56), Thomas Yi (1:42.15), and Nick Belfanti (1:41.72) were only able to muster a sixth place finish, they did something historic in the process. This group of Fordham swimmers broke, by far, the oldest school relay record that was set back in 1976. The old mark stood for 36 seasons at 6:49.90, the 2012 Rams broke it with a 6:48.83. While they were not able to experience a first place finish, these men were able to become a part of Fordham Swimming history.

 Fordham Facts:
• Fordham’s 200 Medley Relays also fared well. The Women placed second to Richmond with a time of 1:42.72, while the men put up an impressive time of 1:32.12 and finished sixth.
• Junior Brie Ryan had the top backstroke split in the 200 medley relay with a 24.76, barely edging out Richmond’s Lauren Hines’ 24.78.
• Junior Devon Morris had an eye-popping 19.69 freestyle split as he anchored the men’s 200 medley relay. It was the quickest split of the event.


Alex Wessel on 800 Free Relay Fordham Women 200 Medley Reaction Head Coach Steve Potsklan on Day 1 Nick Belfanti on Record Setting 800 Relay Sean McManus on 200 Medley Relay