When you think of “March Madness” you typically think of college basketball; during March 4th to the 7th the GCC Men and Women’s swimming teams experienced their own version of “March Madness” by making a big splash at the NJCAA Swimming and Diving Championships.
This year’s National Championship was held up the Thruway in Buffalo at the downtown campus of ECC. Each team had an incredible showing with the women just missing out on their 3rd consecutive National Championship by 5 points losing to Ocean County Community College. This was the closest finish in the 10 year history of the Non-Scholarship Championship. The 2nd place finish by the Lady Cougars was joined by the Men’s taking 7th place in the Non-Scholarship Division. Overall the women finished 5th and the Men 11th.
In a meet where 13 National records were broken; the Cougars joined in by breaking 8 GCC School records. Sarah Barr broke 3 individual records; the 100 backstroke (1:01.46 placing 5th), the 200 IM (2:15.91 placing 6th), and the 200 backstroke (2:13.49 placing 3rd). Josh Sullivan broke the record in the Men’s 400 I.M. (4:42.30 placing 10th). Barr joined with Katelin Adamczak, Bobbie Jo Passamonte, and Claire Vanderberg to break relay records in the 200 Medley Relay (1:59.03 placing 3rd), the 400 Medley Relay (4:22.94 placing 3rd), and the 800 Freestyle Relay (8:35.64 placing 4th). Barr, Vanderberg, and Passamonte joined with Abby Duerden to break the 400 Freestyle relay record (3:54.17 placing 5th). The 200 Freestyle relay finished 7th. All 5 relays earned CSCAA All American Honors. For the Men, Josh Sullivan, Dustin Shepard, Ricardo Jimenez, and Mike Hoerbelt earned All American honors by finishing 10th in the 200 Freestyle relay and 10th in the 200 Medley relay. For her GCC career Sarah Barr holds 6 Individual Records and 4 Relay records the most by any swimmer in the 10 year history of the women’s swimming team.
Records were not the only thing broke at the meet as every swimmer set a personal best in at least 1 event. “This meet was one of the fastest in the last 10 years, for our swimmers to step up and swim as fast as they all did is a credit to the countless hours that they have put in over the last 6 months” remarked Coach Scott Hunsinger. “It was an incredible run by both teams, I am very proud of the way both teams conducted themselves both on the deck and in the pool especially the women losing such a close meet. Fast swimming was so contagious, each swim got the team fired up to do their best”.
Earning CSCAA All American Individual honors were Barr, Passamonte (500 Freestyle 10th, 400 I.M. 8th, and in the 1650 Freestyle 7th), Adamczak (500 Freestyle 13th, 400 I.M. 11th, and the 1650 Freestyle 8th), Vanderberg (200 I.M. 12th, 100 Breaststroke 7th, and the 200 Breaststroke 7th), Abby Duerden (100 Backstroke 12th and 200 Backstroke 10th), and Josh Sullivan (400 I.M. 10th and the 200 Breaststroke 15th).
This was the 10th year anniversary of GCC Swimming and Diving. “These two teams should the nation what “Cougar Pride” is all about” commented Coach Scott Hunsinger.