Last Thursday January 12th, 2012 the Bloomsburg boy's swim team traveled to Danville to take on the Ironmen in a swim meet. The team from Bloomsburg took to the pool without their top two swimmers-Stefan Szilagyi and Sam Calhoun. That didn't stop the Panthers from pulling off the win. This season the team is balanced and deep with talent.
The Bloomsburg Panther swim team works on the switching part of the 200 free relay at Monday's practice. Led by senior Stefan Szilagyi and junior Sam Calhoun the panthers are pointing towards another league championship.
"We lost Zach (Zach Stephens-enrolled at the University of Notre Dame) which was obviously the cornerstone of our team last year. We also got 5 new guys this year and even a few first year swimmers. We got a lot more. We can fill every event this year which we couldn't do last year which is nice." said Stefan Szilagyi.
We know what Bloomsburg did last year with All-American Zach Stephens now out at Notre Dame. The Panthers placed 5th in the state. Expectations are high this year. Numbers are up for head coach Mark Barnes he has 14 boy's on the team, and their is improvement in the 200 free relay and the 400 free relay.
"It's not just one person-Sam Calhoun he's my top sprinter. Stefan he's a good stroke with the butterfly and backstroke. Forrest bennett is solid. We have a new freshman Noah Crawford, Mitch Fornwald who's a junior this year he really came up in the 50 freestyle for his sprints. So it's all a team group right now. Everyone's carrying the team unlike one person like last year." said Mark Barnes.
"I think the free relays are really coming a long way this year. Last year we kind of focused on the medley and the 400 free relay, but the 200 free relay we have a lot of opportunity to place very high at states this year." said Sam Calhoun.
"How much fun is this season? It's a lot of fun. More people coming out. More people to talk to. More races. We're getting faster times. It's a lot of fun." said Forrest Bennett.
Replacing the top swimmer in the state from a year ago won't be easy, but Barnes bunch believes they can. And it's showing with each stroke. Bloomsburg faces Central Columbia on Tuesday January 31st.