WASHINGTON - The reigning Landmark Conference Men’s Swimming & Diving Champions, The Catholic University of America are the No. 1-ranked team in the 2017-18 Landmark Conference preseason coaches’ poll, as released by the league on Thursday morning.
The Cardinals received seven first-place votes to earn 70 points in the poll while the University of Scranton trailed in second place with 54 points. It is the first time in program history that the Cards have earned the No. 1 spot.
Catholic captured their first conference title last season with 809 points and an outstanding 224.5-point margin over runner-up Scranton. Susquehanna University, who was picked third in the 2017-18 preseason poll, completed last year’s championship meet with 569.5 points for third place.
Catholic returns six all-conference team members from last year’s conference title-winning squad. Despite the graduation of 2017 Swimmer of the Year, Guido Saccaggi '17, the Cardinals bring back reigning Landmark 200-butterfly champion senior Peter Bajorek and runner-up junior David Lanetti. Additionally, Lanetti is the defending 1650-freestyle champion while Bajorek and junior Sam Hicks were both members of the reigning back-to-back title-winning 800-freestyle relay.
The Cardinals also look to defend their two-time 200-freestyle relay title as foursome members sophomores Olivier Nguyen and George Isaacs return to the pool. Back on the diving boards for the Catholic is 2017 one-meter & three-meter runner-up, senior Joseph Soraghan.
Head Coach Paul Waas, who was selected the 2017 Men’s Swimming Coach of the Year, added 13 newcomers to this year’s squad to help defend the Landmark Title.
The Cards dive into this season on the road, dueling Salisbury University at 1 p.m., on Saturday, October 21. They face conference foe Scranton in their home opener on Friday, October 21 at 5 p.m., as part of Catholic’s homecoming weekend festivities.
During the season, Catholic takes on Division II Barton College (Nov. 4) and Division I Howard University (Jan. 27). The Cardinals also participate in the annual Yellow Jacket Midseason Invitational the first weekend in December.
The Landmark Conference Championships are set for February 16-18 at the Germantown Indoor Aquatic Center in Boyds, Md.
All Cardinal fans are encouraged to follow all of Catholic Athletics and sign up for "email-alerts" that sends the latest news directly to your phone, tablet or device. Also, be sure to follow the Cardinals on Twitter, Instagram and Face