By Emily Coughlin
The St. Bonaventure men’s and women’s swim teams start the regular season this Friday with many goals and a lot of talent.
Senior backstroker Devon McFadden predicts that the Bonnies will be very successful this year with the freshmen’s new motivation and the upperclassmen’s strong skill.
“So far, we have put in a lot of training, and I think our team has some serious talent this year,” said McFadden.
Women’s head coach Brian Thomas holds his team to high standards and has a lot of confidence in their abilities.
“With where we are now, I like the mentality our team is bringing and what we’ve started to build that way,” said Thomas.
The team is exited to get into the swing of things and begin racing, said McFadden.
“This past month has been fun getting to know the incoming freshmen, and I can tell our team is going to get along really well with one another,” said McFadden. “It’s obvious that we are all here for the same reason, and we really feel connected as a group.”
McFadden said that the freshmen this year have already been impressive in and out of the water and are fitting in well with the team.
“They all get along really well with the current team and with each other and definitely have a lot to contribute to this program,” said McFadden.
On the men’s side, sophomore butterflyer Guido Balderrama said the freshmen class has a lot of talent and have been adjusting well to collegiate swimming.
“They understand that last year didn’t go how we planned and that we need to do everything in our power to make sure that this year does,” said Balderrama.
To prepare for the current season, the Bonnies have been conditioning a lot in and out of the pool, said McFadden.
“We have been training nonstop since the beginning of school and have definitely taken advantage of the past four weeks,” said McFadden.
She said getting in shape for the sport of swimming is a very difficult process, and it’s easily one of the hardest parts of the year, but she is proud of her team for the work the athletes are putting in and their positive attitudes.
“In and out of the pool, we have been training extremely hard, and it will pay off later when we get to rest for our mid-season meet and of course A10s,” said McFadden.
The men lost a strong senior class said Balderrama, but the team hopes to perform even better than they did last season.
“Our team was recently polled to get seventh this year at A10s, so we want to let the rest of the conference know that we are still a force to be reckoned with,” said Balderrama.
Though the freshmen are fitting in very well with the team, Thomas said they still need help concentrating on smaller skills that will build up over time.
“We tried to really narrow their focus,” said Thomas. “We take it one day at a time and understand that it really is a long haul for us.”
As for the whole team, Thomas wants the women to stay motivated and keep their best interest in mind, and the team goals will fall into place.
“One of my number one goals is to really put the odds in their favor to have a lot of success and treat themselves like athletes,” said Thomas.
The Bonnies have two top goals: to make this season a memorable one and to grow as much as they can individually and as a team; the second is to be very successful, said McFadden.
“We have made it very clear as a team that we want to finish higher in the A10 at our conference meet,” said McFadden. “It has been our goal since day one and we know that we are certainly capable of doing it.”
Above all, Thomas cares about his team’s happiness and wellbeing.
“At the end of the day, we are simply trying to do our best,” said Thomas.
The Bonnies will begin their seasons this Friday at the Colgate Fall Classic at Colgate University.