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Senior swimmers go entire Malvern career without Inter-Ac loss

The swim team has won their fourth consecutive Inter-Ac Championship, led by a strong senior class.

Swimmers cheer teammates on at year-end Eastern Interscholastic Swimming & Diving Championship. Malvern finished third behind Peddie School and Haverford School. / J. bennett
Swimmers cheer teammates on at year-end Eastern Interscholastic Swimming & Diving Championship. Malvern finished third behind Peddie School and Haverford School. / J. Bennett

The seniors on the swim team are one of few classes ever to win an Inter-Ac Championship all four years in their sport, but the streak may not be ending just yet.

Led by captains Will Schaffer and Aaron Salinas, the swim team brought home their fourth consecutive Inter-Ac championship. The seniors have not lost a single Inter-Ac meet in their entire Malvern careers.

“We’ve been through a lot together, but it’s all paid off in the end,” Salinas said. “It’s amazing seeing swimmers completely change their mental and physical state just to help us win.”

Coach Jay Schiller is already looking forward to next year where he hopes a strong junior class led by Zach Maher and Cullen Robinson can execute.

“Next year’s team will have the chance to say they are Inter-Ac champions. The bar has been set by this year’s squad, but next year I think they [the team] will set up to the plate and deliver,” Schiller said.

Sophomore John Connors, who was a key factor in the success of the team in their final meet at Haverford, is excited for next year.

“The bonds that were made as we came together as a team will help us work hard together in the future,” Connors said.

Salinas will continue his swimming career at West Point next year, while co-captain Schaffer said he is deciding between a couple of Ivy League schools. Billy Beard, who was named All-American after his junior season, will be swimming next year for Penn State University.

Schiller said that his favorite moment during the season was definitely the last final win at Haverford.

“Our captains Will and Aaron went one, two in the breaststroke to seal the deal,” Schiller said. “When they did that Haverford only had an opportunity to tie the meet.”

Schiller said that Brett Mastrangelo, Zach Maher, John Connors and Louis Franzone “all swam out of their minds” in the last relay to secure the win. “That win prevented Haverford from even having a chance to tie,” Schiller said.

“Under the leadership of Coach Schiller and Coach Hornsleth, we have been inspired to be our best, and run our opponents down,” Salinas said. “This team has helped me go beyond my limits and continues to inspire me.”

Aaron is in his 5th season as a swimmer for Malvern. He said he has seen the team grow a lot since since he started.

“In eighth grade, I remember swimming against Germantown in a combined high school and middle school meet, and I was the only Malvern swimmer to win an event,” Salinas said. “My freshman year, the theme was ‘Catch the Dream’ all the way through. The class of 2016 got hungry that season. We tasted victory, and didn’t want to lose.”

That ended being the case because Salinas and the senior class continued to shine throughout their Malvern careers. Their impact on Malvern will live on because of the school records they have set, and records at other pools like Episcopal Academy.

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One comment

  1. Matthew Lanetti '15

    I can’t begin to say how proud I am of this team. The 4-peat has surpassed the legendary 3-peat, patiently awaiting the 5-peat. It’s a dream come true. Glad to see John Connors did well against Haverford again; his 500 earned him the nickname Terminator the previous year against Haverford. I won’t soon forget that race. Proud of you guys, can’t wait to see the next season. Long live the 2 by 4!

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