After a less-than-ideal 0-4 start to the season, Lehigh men’s swim and dive looks to carry the momentum from their first win against rival Lafayette into the rest of their season.
After a tough loss to Loyola in their first meet of the season, the team had yet to tally a win. The team lost by over 200 points in their opening meet against the Greyhounds with a final score of 252-44.
Following this loss, the team dropped three more meets to Rider, Seton Hall and West Chester.
Even with these losses, coach Robert Herb said the level of competition of their first four opponents is not a big cause for worry.
“The first four teams are all excellent programs,” Herb said. “Loyola is top-three in (the) Patriot League, Rider are MAAC champions, West Chester are PSAC champions, and Seton Hall have been Big East Champions. We have a very difficult fall schedule.”
He said the team outperformed expectations in all of these losses.
The Mountain Hawks are also down several swimmers due to injuries, which have been detrimental to their team and allowed the opposing team to get free points.
“Injuries have played a role in some of our key swimmers being unable to compete at their best,” first-year swimmer Owen Higinbotham said. “Additionally, some of our swimmers haven’t been hitting their personal best times due to a combination of training interruptions and new routines.”
Given their struggles, Higinbotham said the Mountain Hawks have done what they can with the situations they’ve been given.
Junior swimmer Elvin Lee said the team’s training has been getting better and the team still is doing well despite the losses.
“We are training really hard and the work done at practice is really improving,” Lee said. “We have been performing very well at meets, it’s just that sometimes the teams we go against are just a little better than us.”
Herb explained the projected results will be much better than last year at the Patriot League Championship, given the clear improvement from the team based on times.
He said sophomore Aaron Williams, junior Connor Goodyear and sophomore Ben Kisker have been leading the pack with their results.
Lee was already able to match his 200-meter individual medley time from last season, recording 1 minute, 55.10 seconds against West Chester. He believes the training and his work ethic have allowed him to improve on his best times from last season.
Higinbotham said he loves how the team has been fighting even with the poor record to show for it.
“It’s been inspiring to see our swimmers push through adversity and continue to work hard, showing determination and dedication,” Higinbotham said. “These glimpses of success are encouraging and serve as a reminder that we have the potential to turn things around.”
Despite the disappointing results, the group is confident going into the next few meets, especially after their sole win against Lafayette.
“We have a great group. They are building the self-confidence that, when primed at the end of the year, will yield great results,” Herb said. “Staying confident is the most important piece of the puzzle for the end result.”
The Mountain Hawks’ next challenge comes against Drexel on Dec. 2 at home.