Darton men's swim coach Will Breehl
ALBANY — The Darton State College swimming and diving teams will enter the NJCAA men’s and women’s swimming and diving championship today in Buffalo, N.Y., where the Cavs and Lady Cavs hope to set new records and win national titles.
Darton head men’s coach Will Breehl is confident in as much, but he wouldn’t make any predictions before the team departed — even if he was supremely confident.
“They have put in the work to be successful,” he said. “We are focused on the things we can control, and that’s all we really care about. We look good in the rankings going into championship meet, but we aren’t making predictions. We are just going to go out and swim our tails off.
“With that mindset, I wouldn’t put anything past them.”
The Cavaliers have endured a lengthy season of practice, travel and competitions. All of it has been for this moment, Breehl said.
“The guys have really come together as a team,” the coach added. “They say a team doesn't reach their potential until they go through some adversity. We have gone through our fair share and have matured because of that.”
All of Darton’s relay teams are ranked in the NJCAA’s top six heading into nationals. Darton’s individuals are highly ranked as well.
“They will represent themselves, their families, Darton State College and Albany very well,” Breehl said. “It’s going to be a blast to see what these young men do.”
The diving program enters the competition with Kelsie Carniglia, Sarah Hoop and Crawford Berry as the No. 1-ranked divers in the NJCAA. They could bring home Darton’s first-ever gold medals in 1- and 3-meter diving.
The Lady Cavaliers will be led by sophomore Anna Macht, who in 2012 won an NJCAA gold medal in the 400-yard IM and a silver medal in the 200-yard IM.
Since her freshman year, Macht has set school records in the 100 free, 200 free, 200 IM, 400 IM, 200 backstroke, 100 breaststroke, 200 breaststroke and 500 free.
Darton sophomore Emily Mitchell also has posted some very fast times this season and has a high national ranking in free and backstroke competitions.
The Lady Cavaliers’ relay teams are all ranked in the NJCAA’s top five.
The championship runs today through Saturday at Erie Community College.