CHESTERTOWN, Md. -- Coming off an historic season in 2013-14, the Washington College men's swim team should have no trouble avoiding a letdown this winter. Eight of the team's nine medalists from last year's Centennial Conference Championships return for 2014-15 as the Shoremen are poised for another successful year.
Last year's Shoremen went 9-1 in dual meets, breaking the school records for most wins in a season and fewest losses in a season. They will enter this season on a school-record nine-meet dual-meet winning streak. The Shoremen also won the 11-team Randolph-Macon Invitational last December and finished fourth at the Centennial Conference Championships last February, their highest finish at the conference championships in 14 years.
This year's Shoremen feature a relatively small senior class by swimming standards, but senior tri-captains Steven Bilinski (Swarthmore, Pa./Strath Haven), Greg Lee (Haddonfield, N.J./Haddonfield Memorial), and Austin Yocum (Lebanon, Pa./Cedar Crest) do represent the team's largest senior class in three years. Lee is an eight-time Centennial Conference Championship medalist, a 2013 College Swimming Coaches Association Scholar All-American, and a two-time Team Most Valuable Swimmer. He holds the school record in the 100 butterfly, is part of four school-record relay teams, and ranks in the top 10 all-time at the school in four other individual events (200 butterfly, 200 individual medley, 50 freestyle, 100 freestyle). Yocum is a four-time conference championship medalist, holds the school record in the 200 freestyle, is part of four school-record relay teams, and ranks in the top five all-time at the school in four other individual events (500 freestyle, 1650 freestyle, 100 freestyle, 1000 freestyle). Bilinski has been a strong contributor in butterfly and freestyle events over his first three seasons.
Six juniors, including four conference championship medalists, dot the Shoremen's 2014-15 roster. Lucas Morgan (Allendale, N.J./Northern Highlands Regional) has won three conference championship medals. He holds the school records in the 1000 and 1650 freestyle events and is part of the school-record 400 medley relay team. He also ranks in the top five all-time at the school in four other individual events (400 individual medley, 200 breaststroke, 500 freestyle, 200 individual medley) and in the top 10 in another (100 breaststroke). Brent Longenecker (Maytown, Pa./Donegal), who transferred to Washington College before his sophomore year, is a two-time conference championship medalist, is a part of three school-record relay teams, and ranks in the school's all-time top 10 in four individual events (100 freestyle, 100 butterfly, 50 freestyle, 200 freestyle). Charles Logan (Durham, N.C./Riverside) is a three-time conference championship medalist, is a part of the school-record 200 medley relay team, and ranks second and sixth in school history in the 100 and 200 backstrokes, respectively. DJ Bradshaw (Reisterstown, Md./Calvert Hall) won a bronze medal in the 400 freestyle relay at last year's conference championships, is part of the school-record 400 freestyle relay team, and is tied for 10th all-time for the Shoremen in the 100 freestyle. Chris Kelly (Ellicott City, Md./Centennial), the school's eighth-fastest swimmer ever in the 200 butterfly, and Ryan Stevens (Lutherville, Md./Gilman), a contributor in freestyle and relay events, complete the junior class.
The Shoremen's four-man sophomore class is headed up by 2014 Outstanding Rookie Performer of the Centennial Conference Championships and 2014 CSCAA Scholar All-America Honorable Mention Brent Hochstein (Townsend, Del./Salesianum School). Hochstein won gold medals in the 400 individual medley and 200 butterfly and silver in the 200 individual medley at the 2014 conference championships. He was named the team's Most Valuable Swimmer as a freshman, holds the school and conference records in the 400 individual medley, holds the school record in the 200 butterfly, and is part of the school-record 800 freestyle relay team. He ranks second all-time at the school in the 200 individual medley and ranks in the top 10 in four other individual events (100 backstroke, 200 breaststroke, 1000 freestyle, and 100 breaststroke).
Hochstein's classmate and high-school teammate Pat Elliott (Media, Pa./Salesianum School [Del.]) holds the school records in the 500 freestyle, 100 backstroke, and 200 backstroke. He won a bronze medal in the 400 medley relay at the 2014 Centennial Conference Championships and is part of the school-record 400 medley and 800 freestyle relay teams. He also ranks among the Shoremen's 10 fastest swimmers ever in the 1000 freestyle and 200 freestyle. Danny Furman (Glen Arm, Md./Calvert Hall), the school's sixth-fastest swimmer ever in the 200 butterfly, and Jason Mercando (Pennsburg, Pa./Upper Perkiomen), the school's eighth-fastest swimmer ever in the 1650 freestyle, round out the sophomore class.
New to the Shoremen's roster this winter are four freshmen - Finny Dorsch (Towson, Md./Loyola Blakefield), Kevin Mackenzie (Silver Spring, Md./St. John's College H.S. [D.C.]), Alex Symmes (Glenwood, Md./Glenelg), and Cody Weiler (Boyertown, Pa./Boyertown Area) - and one assistant coach, Warren Dolben. Dolben is a 2012 graduate of Alfred University, where he was a conference champion in the 100 breaststroke, and formerly served as an assistant coach at King's (Pa.) College.
Dolben joins head coach Kim Lessard, now in her 24th season at the helm of the Shoremen, and Matt Harris, who was promoted to Senior Assistant Coach over the summer. Lessard, who was named the Centennial Conference Men's Swimming Coach of the Year last winter, also coaches the women's team and has a combined dual-meet record of 328-196-1 between the two programs.
The Shoremen will open their 2014-15 schedule November 1st with a dual meet at conference rival Franklin & Marshall, whom the Shoremen beat last season for the first time since 1995. Their home opener is slated for November 8th as they host defending conference champion Gettysburg, the only team to defeat Washington in a dual meet last season. The Shoremen will look to defend their Randolph-Macon Invitational crown December 5th and 6th. The 2015 Centennial Conference Championships will be hosted by Gettysburg February 20th-22nd.