Courtesy: St. Bonaventure Athletics
ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – The St. Bonaventure University men’s swimming and diving team is set to begin the 2019-20 season at Penn State on Friday, Oct. 4.
Bonnies head coach Skip Nitardy is entering his second season at the helm. The program is coming off the first year in which both the men’s and women’s programs were combined under the guidance of one coaching staff.
Stephanie Fleming returns for her seventh season as diving coach and third since returning to St. Bonaventure.
Bona returns six seniors this season: Guido Balderrama, Nick Burdo, Hylton Collinson, Seth Erdley, Joseph Malafronte, and David Shakhnazarov.
Collinson highlighted the Bonnies’ success at last year’s A-10 Championships by earning a silver medal in the 200-breaststroke, a bronze medal in the 400-IM and was a member of the fourth-place 400-medley relay team. Balderrama earned a 10th-place finish in the 100-butterfly and 15th-place in the 200-butterfly. Burdo was a member of the fourth-place 400-medley relay team, earned a sixth-place finish in the 100-freestyle and eighth in the 200-freestyle. Malafronte was part of the sixth-place 200-medley relay team. Shakhnazarov placed fifth in the 50-freestyle and 14th in the 100-freestyle. He also helped the 200-freestyle relay, 400-freestyle relay and 800-freestyle relay teams to sixth-place finishes.
Junior Tjaard Krusch returns after winning a silver medal in the 100-backstroke, swimming a NCAA “B” cut time of 47.61 and finishing fourth in the 200-backstroke as well as the 200-IM at last year’s A-10 Championships. Krusch also won four individual events last season. He was also named the Most Outstanding Rookie of the Meet at the 2017-18 Atlantic 10 Championships.
St. Bonaventure has finished in the top three at the Atlantic 10 Championships in 24 out of the last 27 years, including championships in 1993, 1999, 2006, 2013 and 2014.
The Bonnies welcome seven newcomers to this year’s roster: Tomas Botero (Vero Beach, Fla.), Griffin Witte (Webster, N.Y.), Elias Petri (Saint Charles, Minn.), Joshua Bannon (Austin, Texas), Nicholas Nakaya (Honolulu, Hawaii), and Nicholas Torre (Glenview, Ill.) join the team as swimmers. Austin Campbell (Huntersville, N.C.) joins the team as a diver.
The Bonnies’ schedule features two home meets this season. St. Bonaventure’s first home meet is slated for Nov. 15 when Canisius visits the Reilly Center Pool, and the other home action will come Jan. 20 against Binghamton.