By Meaghan Cahill
The second biggest meet of the season is on the horizon for the Providence College Men’s and Women’s Swim and Dive Teams. The Harold Anderson Invitational, which takes place this year at the University of Rhode Island, is “treated as the Big East Championsips,” according to Madeline Snow ’19.
Coming up on the mid-point of their season, Snow reflected, “We’ve had a pretty good season with several [swimmers] already qualifying for Big East.” While past meets have been used as preparation for the Harold Anderson Invitational, Snow claims, “It’s been a tough line-up so far, we haven’t necessarily won a lot, but that doesn’t mean we are not performing well.”
Snow is certainly correct in her statement that the team is performing well this season. Several team members have already scored qualifying times for the Big East Championship and their success does not stop there. During their meet against Fairfield University on Nov. 4, two members of the swim team broke school records.
While the women’s team did not win the meet, losing 184.5-113.5, Lauren Zawacki ’21 had a standout meet where she broke a 27-year-old record in the 50-meter freestyle with a time of 26.84 seconds. “Lauren, she’s awesome! She broke the school record by .4 seconds, which for a 50 is monumental. It’s huge!” Snow commented.
Along with Zawacki, Patrick Brannigan ’20 also broke a school record that he set himself the year before in the men’s 50-meter freestyle. Originally, Brannigan broke the record in 2016 with a time of 24.11 seconds and this year, he shaved 0.23 seconds off of his time to set a new school record of 23.88 seconds. That same day, Brannigan also won the men’s 100-meter freestyle with a time of 53.49 and was on the winning Men’s 200-meter medley relay team.
“PK really puts in the work and deserves to do well,” Snow said. Individual success has been very prominent within the team this season, but the team as a whole is coming together as well, as they look for overall team success. According to Snow, “The team is in better shape this season than past seasons. There is a good work ethic and everyone comes prepared.” When questioned on how the freshmen are adjusting to being a part of the team, Snow stated, “The freshmen have all been awesome additions and really add to the team’s depth.”
Entering her final two seasons on the team, Snow’s main concern is “that the team is doing well” but that does not stop her from looking to improve her own ranking. On her own swim career up until this point, Snow acknowledged that “there is definitely room for improvement to excel and be in a position in the team’s [top rankings]”.
Using the next two weeks leading up to the Harold Anderson Invitational to “rest and work on getting best times to qualify [for Big East],” Snow expresses the team’s need to “keep the work ethic going” as their main goals as they enter into the final stages of their season.