CHESTERTOWN, MD -- After weeks of practice, the Washington College men's swimming team is primed for the start of the 2011-12 season.
This year's Shoremen roster features a strong four-member senior class comprised of the team's three captains - Austin Auger (McLean, VA/Langley), Johnny Helenek (Gaithersburg, MD/Gaithersburg), and Ross Mills (Silver Spring, MD/Paint Branch) - and school-record holder Nick Longworth (Media, PA/Strath Haven).
Auger is among the Shoremen's five-fastest swimmers ever in both breaststroke events and has scored points in both breaststroke events at each of the past three Centennial Conference Championship meets, including a fourth-place finish in the 200 breaststroke in 2010. Helenek is another strong breaststroker who is the program's seventh-fastest swimmer ever in each breaststroke event and has also scored points in both of those events at each of the past three conference championship meets. Mills, meanwhile, is the team's seventh-fastest swimmer ever in the 200 butterfly and has twice scored points in butterfly events at conference championship meets.
Longworth holds the school record in the 200 backstroke and is a member of the school-record 800 freestyle relay team. He is also the Shoremen's fourth-fastest swimmer ever in the 100 backstroke and scored points in both backstroke events at the 2009 and 2011 Centennial Conference Championships, taking fourth place in the 200 in 2009.
Robert Homer (Cherry Hill, NJ/Cherry Hill West) and Spencer Van Cise (Temple City, CA/Temple City) are the team's two juniors. Homer was the Shoremen's second-fastest swimmer in both the 50 and 100 freestyle events last year, which was his first year of collegiate swimming. Van Cise was named the team's Most Improved Swimmer in 2011 and was the team's second-fastest swimmer in the 200 freestyle.
Robert Mix (Downingtown, PA/Downingtown East), Tad Derrick (Virginia Beach, VA/First Colonial), and Daniel Seidleck (Crofton, MD/DeMatha Catholic) comprise the Shoremen's sophomore class. Mix scored points in both breaststroke events at last year's conference championships and is also among the Shoremen's 10 fastest swimmers ever in both of those events. Derrick was the Shoremen's second-fastest swimmer in the 400 individual medley as a freshman, while Seidleck competes in freestyle and backstroke events.
Joining the Shoremen for 2011-12 are five freshmen - Steven Bilinski (Swarthmore, PA/Strath Haven), Spencer Kelley (Weston, CT/Weston), Greg Lee (Haddonfield, NJ/Haddonfield Memorial), James Ray (Timonium, MD/Towson), and Austin Yocum (Lebanon, PA/Cedar Crest).
Kim Lessard returns for her 21st season as the Shoremen's head coach and also welcomes back second-year assistant coaches Robin Glaser and Mark Yankovich. Lessard, who also coaches the Washington College women's swimming team, enters the 2011-12 season with a combined dual-meet record of 299-162-1.
The Shoremen will host their annual Maroon & Black Meet, an intrasquad scrimmage, October 22nd, and will open the regular season with a Centennial Conference meet November 5th at Gettysburg. Their first regular-season home meet is slated for November 9th against Salisbury.