Pilots split league matchups with UDJ, NDP

FRASER, Mich. — De La Salle Collegiate's young swim and dive team is a work in progress. That much has been known since Day 1.

But the Pilots growth and development has continued to progress this season, much to the delight of head coach Jim Singelyn. It continued Thursday night during a tri-meet at Fraser High School. Singelyn's team split a pair of Catholic High School League meets, defeating Father Gabriel Richard/Greenhills, 135-50, and falling to the University of Detroit-Jesuit, 120-75.

The meet combined all three teams but was scored separately. De La Salle beat both the Cubs and Irish in three separate events. Junior Juan DiCosmo topped the competition in the 200 individual medley, finishing in a time of 2:07.28, narrowly edging out Richard's Max Wen by 0:03. Sophomore Max Swiatkowski was one of just two swimmers to break one minute in the 100 backstroke, winning in a time of 57.09. 

The Pilot divers dominated the competition, with junior Joseph Basha and senior Justin Burke finishing 1-2, by a wide margin. Basha won the event with a six-dive score of 321.30, while Burke was runner-up at 237.35.

"Our divers are something else," Singelyn said. "They're for real. They're good. Joey put up 321 points in a six-dive meet. That's legit."

Head to head against Jesuit, DiCosmo finished first in the 100 butterfly in a time of 58.45. 

Topping the competition in the Pilots matchup against Richard were Swiatkowski in the 200 freestyle, senior Gianluca Cavataio in the 100 freestyle and the 200 medley relay team of Swiatkowski, sophomore Michael Paluch, freshman Carson Ricker and DiCosmo, who won that event in a time of 1:47.71.

Singelyn was pleased with what he saw from his team, pointing out a few upperclassmen as well as a few first-year swimmers. 

"They're getting a lot better. We're talking about kids who didn't even know what a flip turn was and now they're out there doing it," the coach said. "Michael Slusser, a freshman for us, is dropping a lot of time. (Senior) Rocco Stroker is doing really well. He works his butt off. John Griffith. There are a handful of those younger guys doing well. Miki Simasko. (Senior) Isaiah Brundidge has been doing real well out there."

Displaying patience has worked well for Singelyn, who knows all the hard work and training will eventually pay off. 

"It's just a growing year. We knew it was going to be this way. Teach them how to do things right," he said. "It's fun with the newer kids, watching them drop 20 seconds at a time. They're seeing the improvement."

The Pilots return to the pool on Tuesday, on the road against Oxford. The meet will begin at 6 p.m.

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