Wells College Sits Atop 2018-19 NEAC Men's Swimming & Diving Preseason Poll

Wells College Sits Atop 2018-19 NEAC Men's Swimming & Diving Preseason Poll

GANSEVOORT, N.Y. - Wells College has been selected as the league’s top team in the 2018-19 North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) Men’s Swimming & Diving preseason poll, as voted on by the conference coaches.  

After finishing second at last year’s NEAC Championship, Wells College received two first-place votes and 13 points to earn the top spot in the preseason rankings. Head Coach Trish George and the Express expect to be led by three returners in Brandon Sprague (Brockton, Mass.), Aaron Connolly (Freetown, Mass.) and Richard Ford (Aurora, N.Y.). Connolly earned NEAC All-Conference honors in six events last season, while Sprague swam to an All-NEAC finish in five events. Ford returns for his sophomore season after landing on the 2018 All-Conference Team in the 400-yard medley relay and the 400-yard individual medley.

Gallaudet University finished second with one first-place vote and 11 total points in the poll. The Bison will be led by 2018 NEAC Swimmer and Co-Rookie of the Year Benjamin Sealts (Ottawa, Ohio). Sealts is coming off an outstanding debut season where he received All-Conference honors in the 200-yard individual medley, 100-yard backstroke and 200-yard backstroke while setting a number of new records at last year’s NEAC Championship. He will be joined by fellow sophomore Brian Podlisny (Sharon, Mass.), who will compete in various distance freestyle events, and freshman Barry McGrain.

The defending conference champion SUNY Cobleskill received one first-place vote and nine points to rank third in the coaches’ poll. The Fighting Tigers will look to rebuild this year after the departure of eight swimmers and will lean on sophomore Dan Mullen (Oswego N.Y.) for leadership. Mullen was named the NEAC Co-Rookie of the Year in 2018 after a record-setting swim in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 49.17 and NEAC All-Conference honors in the 100-yard and 200-yard freestyle event.

Cazenovia College closes out the poll in fourth place with three points. The Wildcats will be returning with a small squad that will be working toward individual improvements throughout the new season.

The full 2018-19 NEAC men’s swimming and diving preseason rankings can be found below:

Rank Institution (First-Place Votes) Total Points
1. Wells College (2) 13
2. Gallaudet University (1) 11
3. SUNY Cobleskill (1) 9
4. Cazenovia College 3

 

 

 

 

The preseason poll rankings were conducted by the NEAC men’s swimming and diving coaches, with each coach ranking all teams but their own using a staggered points system (five points for a first-place vote, three points for second, and one point for third). The 2018-19 NEAC men’s swimming and diving season will begin Saturday, Oct. 13, with a full season schedule available on the NEAC website

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The North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) has 12 NCAA Division III member institutions which include: Cazenovia College, College of Saint Elizabeth, Gallaudet University, Keuka College, Lancaster Bible College, Pennsylvania College of Technology, Pennsylvania State University – Abington, Pennsylvania State University – Berks, SUNY Cobleskill, Morrisville State, SUNY Polytechnic Institute, and Wells College. Associate members are: Cedar Crest College (W Swimming), D’Youville College (W Lacrosse), Hilbert College (M&W Lacrosse), Medaille College (M&W Lacrosse), Rutgers University – Camden (M Golf), and Wilson College (M Volleyball). The NEAC has partnered with the North Atlantic Conference in the sport of men’s tennis and with the Colonial State Athletic Conference in the sport of Field Hockey. For more information, please visit: www.neacsports.com.