Pirates Swim Toward More Success

Seton Hall swimming has a proud winning tradition. Pirates swimming began in 1940. Since then the Pirates have earned an extremely high winning percentage in duel meets, and boast twenty-four individual state titles. The Pirates have won twenty-three consecutive Essex County Championships and have won the Super Essex Conference Championship eleven consecutive times. Coach Randy Schweitzer took the helm of SHP swimming in the 1988-89 season, with Coach Joe Alexander ’77 at his side. During the next thirty years coach Schweitzer led the team to great success. In 1998 the Pirates won the Essex County championship and have won every year since. Coach Alexander took over in the 2018-19 season.

The Pirates have maintained dominance over Essex County for all of this time. In the 2019-2020 season, the Pirates reign over Essex County was questioned.  In the opening meet of the year, Montclair upset the Pirates 90-80. This was the first conference loss for SHP since 2009. Later that season, the Pirates found themselves down eight of the eleven events to Montclair in the Super Essex Conference Championships, until they made a comeback to win their twenty-third consecutive title. That same year, a thrilling meet took place against Saint Peter’s Prep in which the Pirates came back from a  twenty point deficit with three events remaining.

Despite SHP’s success in Essex County, the Pirates have fallen short of a state title multiple times. In the past nine years, the Pirates made it to the semifinals eight times and to the finals twice. This year will be like no other. The already good Pirates became great with improvements across the board and an incredible freshman class. The forty man roster consists of a deep core of talented swimmers alongside of multiple stars including the 100 backstroke school record holder and last year’s Cullen Jones Award winner (SEC championship MVP) Jaeden Yburan ’21, and Richard Poplawski ’24 who broke the 200 freestyle school record on his first swim as a Pirate. The 2020-21 season looks to become one of the best seasons in school history.

Unfortunately, due to Covid protocols, the state tournament will not happen this year and the Pirates will not get their run at a state championship, nor will they be able to compete in the Essex County Championship. Instead, the Pirates have scheduled a meet against Bergen Catholic, a strong contender. The regular season for this year consists of normal duel meets, and virtual duel meets. In a virtual duel meet, competing teams swim their races at different times and at different sites, and compare the results to each race afterwards. As far as state ranking goes, this year it will have to come down to power points. Power points are points assigned to each time in every race. Basically, the faster swimmers go, the more power points the team gets. When the power points of all of the team’s races are added, the power point total can be compared to that of other schools. Using this, one can compare teams to each other. This year, the Pirates look to have one of the highest power point totals in the state and gain statewide recognition.