SUNY Cobleskill Chosen as Preseason Favorite Heading into 2016-17 NEAC Men’s Swimming & Diving Season

SUNY Cobleskill topped the 2016-17 NEAC Men's Swimming & Diving coaches' preseason poll.
SUNY Cobleskill topped the 2016-17 NEAC Men's Swimming & Diving coaches' preseason poll.

GANSEVOORT, N.Y. – The SUNY Cobleskill Fighting Tigers were chosen as the favorites heading into the 2016-17 North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) men’s swimming & diving season, according to the coaches’ preseason poll rankings. 

Cobleskill collected all three allowable first-place votes to top the poll with 15 total points.  Wells College garnered the remaining first-place vote and placed second with 11 points.  Gallaudet University placed third with seven points and Cazenovia placed fourth with three points to round out the field.  

Led by second-year head coach Chris Brown, Cobleskill will see the return of a quartet that combined for 22 NEAC All-Conference First Team selections at last year’s championships, where the Fighting Tigers finished as the runner-up.  Junior Anthony McGorsik (East Hampton, N.Y.) earned seven of those selections while winning three individual freestyle titles.  Sophomore Sam Datri (Ravena, N.Y.) collected six honors while proving to be a dual threat during his debut season, which helped earn him 2015-16 NEAC Rookie of the Year honors.  Datri won individual championships as both a swimmer and diver, while also being the first NEAC student-athlete to qualify for NCAA regional diving competition.    

Sophomore Mick Fryer (Ravena, N.Y.) also returns following six all-conference nods that included a pair of individual titles, while junior Joslen Pettit (Gloversville, N.Y.) also won an individual championship amongst his three all-conference honors.  The Fighting Tigers will begin their season on Saturday, October 22, when they host Wilkes University. 

Wells College, led by 2015-16 NEAC Co-Coach of the Year Patricia George, will enter the season as the defending NEAC Champions following 23 All-Conference placements a year ago.  The Express will see the return of junior Owen May (Warsaw, N.Y.), who garnered six All-Conference selections that included an individual championship in the 1,650-yard freestyle event.  Sophomore Austin Heil (Medina, N.Y.) also returns following six All-Conference honors that were split between three individual events and three relay races.  Junior Arthur Brooks (Morristown, N.J.), who also split his four all-conference nods between two individual and two relay events, also returns for the Express. 

The Gallaudet Bison return three all-conference swimmers from last year in sophomore Gideon Firl (Frederick, Md.) and seniors David Bruno (Patchogue, N.Y.) and Xuan Lin (Fulton, Ill.).  Firl was a five-time All-NEAC Third Team honoree, while Bruno and Lin each collected four Third Team honors apiece.  The trio will team with a handful of newcomers that will look to make an immediate impact for the Bison, who will begin their season on Saturday, October 22, when they host Hampden-Sydney. 

Cazenovia College will be led by a pair of individual award winners in reigning NEAC Swimmer of the Year Collin Stewart (Lowville, N.Y.) and NEAC Co-Coach of the Year Bill Houser.  Stewart, a junior, won three individual events at last year’s championships, including the 100-yard IM with a new conference championship record finish time of 0:58.47.  Houser will test his Wildcats early when they open the season against Le Moyne College on Friday, September 30 at 5 p.m.  

The full 2016-17 NEAC men’s swimming and diving preseason poll results can be found below:

Rank Institution (First-Place Votes) Total Points
1 SUNY Cobleskill (3) 15
2 Wells College (1)
3 Gallaudet University
4 Cazenovia College 3


The three-day 2016-17 NEAC Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships will be hosted by Cazenovia College on February 10-12, 2017, where all four teams will compete for a shot at the conference title.  NEAC All-Conference honors are also awarded to any of the swimmers or divers that finish in the top three for each of the 20 events taking place throughout the championships. First Team honors are awarded to the first-place finishers for each event, while the Second and Third Team selections consist of the second- and third-place finishers, respectively.   Be sure to also follow the results from the regular season by using the free NEAC mobile app, Front Row, which can be downloaded here

The preseason poll rankings were conducted by the NEAC men’s swimming and diving coaches, with each coach ranking out all teams but their own using a staggered points system (five points for a first-place vote, three points for second place and one point for third place).  No self-voting was allowed.  This is the second year the NEAC has held preseason polls and they will now become a staple of all 18 conference-sponsored sports moving forward.

The North Eastern Athletic Conference has fourteen NCAA Division III member institutions which include: Bryn Athyn College, Cazenovia College, College of St. Elizabeth, Gallaudet University, Keuka College, Lancaster Bible College, Pennsylvania College of Technology, Pennsylvania State University - Abington, Pennsylvania State University - Berks, SUNY Cobleskill, SUNY Morrisville State College, SUNY Polytechnic Institute, Wells College, and Wilson College.  Associate members are: Cedar Crest College (W Swimming), D’Youville College (M Volleyball), Hilbert College (M Lacrosse & M Volleyball), Medaille College (M&W Lacrosse & M Volleyball), Penn State Altoona (M Volleyball) and Rutgers University - Camden (M Golf).  The North Eastern Athletic Conference has partnered with the North Atlantic Conference in the sports of field hockey and men’s and women’s tennis.