By Anna Poulter-Hendrickson
Special to GoHolyCross.com
The Holy Cross swimming and diving
team opens the 2009-2010 season with a drive for success. Head
coach Barry Parenteau's Crusaders return 18 of 29
letterwinners from a year ago and welcome nine newcomers to the
pool. Taking to the water for Holy Cross is one of the most
successful senior classes in recent years. Senior captain
Maggie Gousman returns as last season's top Holy
Cross performer in the 100 breast, 200 breast and 200 IM, senior
captain Alisha Carrazza recorded top times in the
50 free, 100 free and 200 free and senior diver Rachel
Martinez led the team on the one meter and three meter
boards. Holy Cross will open the 2009-2010 season at the Hart
Center on Saturday, Oct. 17, hosting Patriot League opponent
The Crusaders will be led in the backstroke events by a core of returners. Junior Gael Carter returns as the top Holy Cross performer a year ago in the 50 and 100 backstroke events. Carter's top times of the season came at the Patriot League Championship when she recorded a time of 28.62 in the 50 back and 1:01.38 in the 100 back. Sophomore Maggie Beaudouin returns as the top performer in the 200 back. Beaudouin recorded her top time of 2:10.89 at the Terrier Invitational which was just off the school record of 2:08.36. Senior captain Lauren Tatro, sophomore Emily D'Angelo and sophomore Madison Walsh will add to the strength of the backstrokers. Tatro's experiences and versatility make the Crusaders stronger in the backstroke events, as she is capable of racing in all backstroke events. Newcomer Kristen Desrosiers will add to the depth of the backstrokers, competing in the 100.
Holy Cross looks to defend its Worcester City Championship title in the 200 back and reclaim the title in the 100 back, as at last season's championship, Holy Cross had four of the top six finishers in the 100 and 200 backstroke events, with three of the top finishers returning. Beaudouin claimed the title in the 200 back with a new meet record time of 2:13.88. Carter took second in the 100 back with a time of 1:04.79.
Gousman returns as the top Holy Cross breaststroker. At the 2009 Patriot League Championship, Gousman broke her own school record in the 100 breast with a time of 1:05.47, while she also recorded a season-best time of 2:27.26 in the 200 breast. This season, Gousman looks to make it a sweep in the breaststroke events at the Worcester City Championship, as she has claimed the top spot in the 100 and 200 breast in all three previous seasons. Sophomore Kendra Kline also returns to lead Holy Cross in the breaststroke events. Kline recorded her fastest time of the season in the 100 breast (1:14.95) at the Patriot League Championship, while she recorded her fastest time in the 200 breast (2:42.54) against Fairfield. Newcomer Katelyn Desrosiers will add much needed depth in the breaststroke events.
Top Holy Cross butterflier, sophomore Annie O'Shea, returns to lead the Crusaders. Last season, O'Shea recorded the top Holy Cross times in the 100 and 200 fly with marks of 1:01.30 and 2:10.43 respectively. This season, O'Shea looks to challenge the all-time school record in the 100 fly. Junior Erin Meegan also returns to the lineup as a strong, consistent swimmer for the Crusaders. Newcomers Jill Chudwick, Samantha Hullihen and Andrea Wiegmanwill bolster the lineup in the fly events and allow flexibility in the relays.
Carrazza will take to the water this season looking to improve on her ECAC performances in the 50, 100 and 200 free. Last season Carrazza was the top Holy Cross performer in the 50 free with a time of 25.05, 100 free with a time of 54.53 and in the 200 free with a time of 1:57.20. Carter will join Carrazza in the sprint events, as last season Carter was the third fastest Crusader in the 50 free. Returners D'Angelo, junior Emily Greeke, Kline, O'Shea, Walsh and Anna Whelan will bolster the sprinters, as Holy Cross looks to defend its Worcester City Championship titles in the 50, 100 and 200 free events. Newcomers Kristen Desrosiers, Nicole Passa and Laura Webber add speed to the Holy Cross line up and will all be fighting for spots in the relays.
The depth in the distance events makes for a tough, but welcome dilemma for Parenteau, figuring out where everyone fits. Beaudouin and fellow sophomore Monica Cullen return to lead the Crusaders in the long events. Beaudouin will look to continue her reign as top mid-distance performer, as last season she recorded the top Holy Cross time in the 500 free (5:18.76) and 1000 free (11:00.41). Cullen will again look to take Holy Cross the distance in the 1650, as last season she finished with the team's top time of 19:05.48. Kline and O'Shea return to add to the depth in the distance events, along with junior Molly O'Brien, who is studying abroad and will return for the second half of the season. Newcomer Kristen Desrosiers will add greater flexibility to the lineup. Holy Cross' depth and versatility means Parenteau won't have to double swimmers up in the distance events, leaving them available for competition in other events.
Gousman, Carrazza and O'Brien will team up to lead the Crusaders in the individual medley events. Last season Gousman recorded the top Holy Cross time in the 200 IM (2:12.95), O'Brien in the 400 IM (4:58.37) and Carrazza claimed the top spot in the 400 IM at the Worcester City Championship. The Crusaders will look to continue their dominance in the IM events at the WCC as last season they took the top three places in the 400 IM and in the 200 IM. Meegan and Kline return to assure that success. The Desrosiers sisters, along with Chudwick, will add to Holy Cross' strength in the medley events.
The Holy Cross diving squad returns one of its strongest teams. Martinez will lead the Crusaders on both boards. Last season Martinez scored top points on the one meter and three meter boards and in both the six dive and 11 dive events. Martinez will try to repeat as the top diver on the three meter board at the Worcester City Championship and reclaim her 2007 title on the one meter board. Senior Alyson Young looks to finish her career on top and together with Martinez provides senior leadership to the diving team. Junior Sarah Kearns, along with sophomore Lindsay Mlazgar return to compete for Holy Cross in the diving events. Mlazgar returns from a strong freshman year and is adding more difficult dives to her arsenal, making her an up and coming force.
Holy Cross will open the season at home against Patriot League opponent Lehigh on Saturday, Oct. 17. The Crusaders will continue action on the road at Fairfield on Saturday, Oct. 18. The team will host Siena in dual meet competition on Wednesday, Oct. 28 and Springfield on Oct. 31. Holy Cross will host Army (Nov. 11) and travel to the Terrier Invitational hosted by Boston University (Nov. 20-22). The Crusaders will close out the first half of the season on Dec. 4-5 at the Harold Anderson Invitational hosted by Rhode Island.
The Crusaders kick off the 2010 portion of the season on Jan. 20 at Bryant before hosting the Worcester City Championship on Jan. 22-23 and Providence on Jan. 30. Holy Cross will wrap up the season at the Patriot League Championship on Feb. 18-20 in Annapolis, Md.