W. Md. women on rise, but men short-handed College swimming

November 20, 1992|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,Staff Writer

The men's and women's swim teams at Western Maryland College appear to be at opposite ends of the spectrum.

Coach Kim Easterday has a strong nucleus of young talent returning on the women's side. And while she is pleased with what she has seen from her men's team, having only 10 swimmers on the roster limits its overall potential.

The women lost only two seniors to graduation from last year's 6-9 team and don't have a senior on this year's roster.

Key returners include junior co-captain Anna Jakubiec (breast stroke), along with sophomores Buffy Burke (middle freestyle) and Alison Denlinger (sprint freestyle).

A solid recruiting class led by freshman Karen Alexander (backstroke and butterfly) has Easterday believing her squad can compete with the best in the Middle Atlantic Conference.

"We're definitely on our way back up," she said.

"We have a lot of talent to work with and everyone is very dedicated. We have a good nucleus to build on and our recruiting class next year will be a key to complete the cycle and keep on rolling."

The nucleus starts with Burke. As a freshman, she came away with two second-place finishes (100- and 200-meter freestyle) and a third (500) in the MAC championships.

Easterday believes Alexander has the potential to be a national qualifier and is looking for the same kind of impact from her as a freshman.

Other swimmers Easterday is counting on are junior Michele Reavy (breast stroke, distant free); sophomores Kelly Benvin (backstroke, free), Martha Ivey (breast stroke) and Heather Roy (distant free).

The men's team continues to rebuild, but is short-handed. The 10 swimmers are two or three less than what Easterday is accustomed to.

"We lost a few to graduation and some just quit," Easterday said. "It takes a great deal of dedication to stick with the sport of swimming.

"We're in the process of building things back up and have a great group. Everybody back came in better shape and more dedicated."

Senior captain Matt Gebhard anchors the squad. Juniors Mike Jekogian (middle-distance free), Jeff Maslin (butterfly, free) and Jason Drissel (intermediate medley, free) also return from last year's 3-11 team.

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