A Cool Dozen
Back on the pool deck for 12th season, head coach Paul E. Phillips has seen his teams rewrite the school record books during his tenure while also excelling in the classroom. An outstanding swimmer in his own right, Phillips is the only swimmer to earn All-State honors from North Providence High, where he was a two-year captain and 1991 Rhode Island swimmer of the year nominee. On the collegiate level, Phillips was a school-record holder and team captain at Brandeis University, where he earned a B.A. in philosophy in 1995.
Hittin The Books
Speaking of GPA, both the men's and women's programs ranked in the top ten in the country in overall team GPA. Clark is one of only three teams in the country to have both their men's and women's teams appear in the top ten joining Pomona-Pitzer and Colorado College. The Cougar men ranked third in the nation with a spring 2014 semester GPA of 3.51, while the women were sixth with a 3.62.
It's Happened Before
The academic honors are not unfamiliar to the Clark swimming and diving program. For the men, it marks the third time in the last four years that they have appeared in the top ten, including earning the top spot in the Fall of 2012. The women meanwhile, were tops in the country in the Spring of 2011.
The Cougars welcome a trio of newcomers to the program for the 2014-15 campaign. Freshmen Spencer Blass (Gaithersburg, Md.), Brendan Burgess (Saline, Mich.) and Steven Castiglione (North Haven, Conn.) join 11 returning letterwinners – eight of which are upperclassmen.
Interestingly enough, it proves to be one of those years where the schedule quirks come out. The Cougars actually only have three home meets beginning with their season opener against Gordon College on October 25. Their next home meets won't happen again until late January when they host Coast Guard (January 24) and Brandeis University (January 31) in consecutive Saturdays.
Despite having just three home meets, the Cougars will be in Worcester for several other events. From Friday, December 5 – Sunday, December 7 Clark will take part in the Gompei Invitational hosted by WPI. Then, on Friday, January 16 – Saturday, January 17, Holy Cross hosts the Worcester City Championships. Finally, from Thursday, February 19 – Sunday, February 22, WPI will host the New England Women's And Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Championships.
Individuals interested in staying on top of all things Clark University Swimming and Diving should follow the program on twitter at the handle, @ClarkUSwimDive.