The Alfred State swimming and diving team heads to Penn State Behrend this week to compete in the 2018 AMCC Championships. The four-day championships will test the endurance and strength of the Pioneer squad looking to make some noise in their second year in the AMCC.
The Pioneer women were 4-1 in AMCC dual meets during the regular season and will look to compete for the title. Lauren Earley (Waterford/Shenendehowa), Elizabeth Drake (Lansing), Kathryn Lewis (Sanborn/Niagara Wheatfield), and Kaileigh Lehman (Lowville/Beaver River) will be counted on key contributors in the pool while Sarah Stevens (Wellsville) will be compete for points on the diving board and in the pool.
The men's team will be count on Ethan Dale (Lock Haven, PA), Bryce Cutler (Newton, NJ), and Nathan Miller (Gananda) in swimming events while a trio of divers led by Nick Beach (Canandaigua) will look to score big points.
Wednesday starts with diving at 1 p.m. and continues at 6 p.m. with 800 Free Relay Finals. Thursday, Friday and Saturday features preliminary heats at 10 a.m., diving at 1 p.m., and finals at 6 p.m.
The Penn State Behrend women have won three straight AMCC titles while the Lion men have won 11 straight. In 2017, Alfred State finished 2nd in the men's standings and 3rd in the women's standings.
Follow all the action of the AMCC Championships at the Championship website: http://psblions.com/sports/mswimdive/2017-18/AMCC_Championship
Prior to the AMCC Championships, freshmen Lauren Earley (Waterford/Shenendehowa) and senior Bryce Cutler (Newton, NJ) answered some questions from the sport information department interns about the AMCC championships, the 2017-18 swimming season, and life at Alfred State.
What are your expectations/goals heading into the AMCC Championships?
Lauren: My goals and expectations heading into AMCC Championships are that the team as a whole comes together and we become one big unit. We are more powerful when we come together than we are as an individual. My goal is to help contribute to winning first in AMCC's. We are a team full of hard workers and we have put the time and effort in, so I know we are ready for this.
Bryce: I would really like to get a personal best in all my personal events; the 1650 Free, 100 Butterfly, 200 Butterfly, and 400 Individual Medley. I would also like the team to take second place overall.
How have you been preparing for this championship meet?
Lauren: I have been preparing by coming into practice every day ready to work hard and putting my best foot forward. Practices are the most important part of training and how you perform in practice reflects how you will perform in competition.
Bryce: We have been tapering since last Monday. This means that we have been doing shorter practices that are strategically structured to have parts that are high intensity, along with parts that have a lot of rest. I have also been carefully thinking about my upcoming races and trying to visualize what the race will be like
What's the best advice someone has given you in your athletic career?
Lauren: The best advice I have ever received in my athletic career has come from my mother. I remember this very clearly, we were on our way to a swim meet and it was one of my last meets. My mother looked over at me and says " Lauren go out there and just have fun! Swim for you and no one else." Ever since that day I have fun at every meet. I have learned that if you think positive the outcome is more likely to be positive as well. I swim for myself, not to please anyone. I do it for me and only me.
Bryce: When I was a senior in high school looking at different colleges, I was considering going to a school that did not have a swim team. When my swim coach heard about this he urged me to find a school with a team, saying that if I don't continue to swim in college, I will regret it. He was right. If I had stopped swimming my senior year of high school I would have certainly regretted it.
What is your favorite event to swim and why?
Lauren: My favorite event to swim would have to be the 100 back. I love swimming back because it is the only stroke that when I sprint I have no pain. Backstroke has never been my stroke until this year when my coach pushed my limits and changed my mind about the stroke.
Bryce: My favorite event has changed many times over the years, right now my favorite event is the 100 Butterfly because butterfly is a challenging stroke, and 100 yards is a short adrenaline pumping race
What have you been some of the highlights of the season?
Lauren: Some of the highlights of the season would be training trip because I feel that we all became a lot closer after seeing each other 24/7 for about 2 weeks straight. Another highlight would be the practices before AMCC's. We are all just happy individuals and just want to have fun. We are so pumped and ready for AMCC's and show off all we have worked for.
Bryce: Training trip was the biggest highlight of this season. There were a lot of great memories that were made on that trip and it brought us together as a team, while giving us an intense workout that challenged me on a level that I did not think I was capable of.
What three celebrities (dead or alive) would you put on your relay team?
Lauren: Michael Phelps, Nathan Adrian, and Rebecca Soni. Michael would swim fly, of course, Nathan would swim freestyle, Rebecca Soni would be our breaststroker, and I would swim backstroke.
Bryce: Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte, and Cullen Jones
Favorite place to eat on campus?
Lauren: 10 Elm because the wraps are made to perfection and I love the chips that come with the sandwiches.
Bryce: Taco Bell
Favorite faculty member on campus?
Lauren: R.C. Weston, my coach. He has morphed me into the swimmer that I have always dreamed of being. I know I would never imagine being where I am today without his push and support. He is always there to talk to me when I need it. Not many coaches are like that, I guess I am just the lucky one who gets to call this amazing person my coach.
Bryce: Evan Enke. He is a great professor who really cares about the success of his students and athletes. He is always very approachable, and willing to help with and problems his students encounter.