The Queens College Knights men’s and women’s swimming teams are off to a good season with three wins and two losses. They have surpassed last season’s total of only two wins, with many more appearances to go.
A strong swimmer has joined the ranks, breaking records and leaving competition in his mist— 19-year-old Jordan Melidor.
Queens College’s swim team most recent competition was at the United States Merchant Marine Academy Memorial Invitational, marking the start of the USMMA swimming season. Adelphi, Southern Connecticut State, Bridgeport University and SUNY Maritime attended the invitational, according to the USMMA Athletics website.
Melidor ranked third in the 200-yard freestyle, third in the 500-yard freestyle and sixth in the 100-meter butterfly, all out of 32 competing swimmers.
The first home game of the season was on Nov. 13 and Melidor performed strongly. He broke the school record in the 200-yard freestyle, finishing at 1:45.78, the previous record being 1:45.97 held by Giorgio Alliata, made in 1987.
Although breaking the record was impressive, Melidor’s swimming ability proved to be in the 500-yard freestyle.
“Endurance is his specialty. I knew he was going to perform great in the 500-yard freestyle,” Jean Joseph, Melidor’s brother, said.
Finishing first after 20 laps back and forth in his lane, Melidor swam 21 seconds faster than second place swimmer, John Rotolo, 18, from Adelphi and one minute and 41 seconds faster than the sixth place swimmer, Thomas Soregaroli, 18, a teammate.
Melidor proves to be far more than a swimmer. As a computer science major, his main priority is getting an education.
“Division 1 schools look fascinating, but sometimes they put sports before school and I’m not thinking that way. Plus, you can find Division 2 teams as fast as Division 1 teams, or even faster. I think QC is perfect for me,” said Melidor.
Born in Queens, he moved to Paris at 4-years-old. He began swimming for the youth team CS Lilas Natation at 9-years-old. At 13, he moved to Martinique for high school, where he swam for his school’s swimming team. When his brother, Jean Joseph, began attending QC, he was interested in the school and the swimming team.
“I was in France when my brother was studying at QC, so I asked him to check out the swimming team. First I did research to see if QC offered a computer science degree, then I contacted the coach, visited few times with my brother and finally enrolled, Melidor said.
“I would say that the main reason [for staying at QC] was because my brother would be able to guide me easily through my freshman year.”
Since competing for QC, Melidor has broken four records: the 200-yard freestyle swim, the 500-yard freestyle swim, the 1,000-yard freestyle swim and the 100-yard butterfly.
The freestyle swim is the competition where any officially allowed techniques can be used, but the front crawl stroke is most commonly used, where the arms are circled forward in alteration and the feet are kicked up and down a foot apart. The butterfly is a stroke using both arms circling at the same time, hands together, while the feet are together and kicking at the same time, according to the NCAA rules for swimming and diving.
“I’m strong because of the team. The team is the strong asset. People say that swimming is an individual sport, they got it all wrong,” Melidor said.
Although Melidor is a fast competitor, he praises his team for their hard work.
“My swimming team is like my second family, we all go through the same pain together at practice. If today we can beat any other swimming team it’s because of the entire team, not because of me,” Melidor said.