Swimming finishes unbeaten in dual meets

Two weeks ago, men’s and women’s swimming and diving made the journey to Springfield College to show they don’t need the home team advantage to produce stellar performances. The Ephs massacred the Springfield Pride on their home turf.

Britta Hult ’02 led the Williams 200-yard Medley Relay team, putting the women in front. Erin Anderson ’00, co-captain Jessica Stokes ’99, and Rachel Seys ’02 each pulled further away from the field to finish a solid five seconds before Springfield. The real race in the men’s relay was between two Williams teams. The speedy combination of Cyrus King ’00, co-captain Jonathon Shade ’99, Alex Poole ’00, and Fred Licon ’99 took first by touching just four tenths before the second Williams team of Geoff Allen ’01, Don Wood ’00, Daniel Morales ’02, and Tom Pickard ’01.

Cristin Brennan ’02 showed her consistency in the 1000 freestyle by smoothly swimming to first place. Tiffany Talley ’99 displayed her determination by touching second after another week of grueling double practices.

The Williams men followed in the footsteps of the women by also finishing 1-2 in their thousand meter challenge. Ben Doob ’02 took the lead early and sustained it to take first. Joel Iams ’01 placed second. Liana Thompson ’01 led the field for the 200 freestyle, and distance swimmer Liz Overbay ’00 captured third. In the men’s event, Jeff McBride ’02 edged out a Springfield challenger for first. Mike Simerman ’02 and Jesse Davis ’02 earned additional third and fifth place points for the Ephs. Eph co-captain Jessica Stokes ’99 and Brennan made waves in 100 backstroke where they touched first and second, respectively. Alix Partnow ’02 contributed to the Ephs growing score with fifth place. On the men’s side, Allen took first, followed by Morales in third and Travis Hobart ’02 in fifth.

E. Anderson took first in the women’s 100 breaststroke with her fluid grace in the water. Cara Yoder ’99 turned in a good time and a fourth place finish. The men showed their breaststroking prowess as Brian Strickler ’01, Shade, and Elliott Gansner ’02 packed a lethal 1-2-3 punch. Hult, Janey Roundtree ’99, and co-captain Erin Gately ’99 placed third through fifth in the women’s butterfly. The men’s butterfly was a close race, but Jason Frink ’00 stayed tough through the end to take first place. Co-captain Mike Hodel ’99 took third, followed by Paul Friedberg ’01 and Dave Erickson ’00. The Williams women sprinted to victory in the 50 freestyle where the sophomores showed their sprinting spirit. Amy Warren ’01 sent ripples through the pool in her sprint freestyle fashion to take first place. Carissa Carter ’01 and Lyssa Castonguay ’01 placed second and third, respectively. In the men’s sprint freestyle event, Fred Licon ’99 sped to first in his smooth trademark style. Pickard and Jamie Mackay ’01 followed in second and third place.

At the diving break, co-captain Heather Cyr ’00 twisted and turned her way to second place on the one-meter. Rebecca Steuer ’02 and Nicole Cosgrove ’02 placed fourth and fifth. Co-captain Chris Wendell ’00 dove with perfection to earn first place for the men while first-years Barry and Michael Gross followed with second and third. In the women’s 100 freestyle, Carter turned in a dazzling performance from the outside lane to take first with a time of 56.20. Teammate Warren touched just a hundredth of a second after Carter at 56.21. Thompson placed fourth. The men sprinted to second, third, and fourth with Licon, Poole, and Allen.

Taking an early lead in the 200 backstroke, Sutton stroked her way to victory followed by teammate Hult in second. King dominated the men’s event with a National B cut. Todd Gamblin ’02 and Mike Simerman ’02 took second and third. Williams’ E. Anderson led decisively in the 200 breaststroke making a National B cut. Yoder took fourth with a season’s best time. The Williams men swept the event with first through third place by Gansner, Wood, and Hines.

Williams swimmers had little competition in the 500 freestyle. Brennan stroked to victory in her seemingly effortless fashion. Co-captain Gately swam a tough race where she held off the sole Springfield swimmer to take second. Castonguay took fourth. In the men’s event, McBride swam his own race in front of the pack. Teammate Doob glided to second and Jesse Davis ’02 took fourth.

Springfield may have touched first in the women’s 100 butterfly, but the Williams women fought back by placing second through fourth with C. Anderson, Hult, and Carter. The men’s butterfly event was so close that only the clock could tell who won. Jason Frink ’00 powered through his race at the end to take first. Morales got fourth and Friedberg placed fifth.

On the three-meter board, Co-captain Cyr placed second followed by Steuer in fourth and Cosgrove in fifth. On the men’s side, co-captain Wendell was a decisive first. Barry and Michael Gross ’02 placed second and third, respectively. In the 200 Individual Medley, co-captain Stokes turned in a spectacular performance just one hundredth off the National A cut of 2:09.79. E. Anderson and C. Anderson placed second and fourth. The men also proved the depth of their talent with King setting the pace on his way to first. Strickler and Gamblin finished second and third. In the 400 freestyle relay, the speedy combination of Seys, Castonguay, co-captain Stokes, and Warren was fast, but maybe too fast. The relay won, but got disqualified for a false start. Luckily, the women didn’t even need the points. In the men’s event, the team of Licon, Poole, McBride, and Allen was victorious.

“I was proud of the effort made by both teams. This meet was a good stepping stone toward achieving team and individual goals later in the season,” said co-captain Stokes. All in all, the final scores of 178-116 for the women and 229-66 for the men clearly established that, while these swimmers can’t agree on a movie to watch on the bus, they are a force to be reckoned with in the water.

The following weekend, Williams swimmers traveled to Tufts where they slew the competition by a score of 158-86 for the women and 190-66 for the men. In the women’s meet, Williams won every event starting with the 200 Medley Relay of Sutton, E. Anderson, Warren, and Thompson. Overbay dominated in the 1000 freestyle when the others stopped after 500 yards.

Brennan took control in the 200 freestyle followed by Warren in third. In the 100 backstroke, Sutton captured first with ease. Castongauay added fourth place points.

Hult made waves in the 100 breastroke to claim first followed by teammates Thompson and Yoder in fourth and fifth. The lone Williams entry in the 200 butterfly, C. Anderson, won easily.

Williams packed a 1-2 punch in the 50 freestyle with E. Anderson and Carter both finishing under 26 seconds. Seys touched fourth. After a short break, the sprinters returned for the 100 freestyle which was won once again by E. Anderson. Carter and Seys placed third and fourth.

Sutton was a double winner after taking the 200 backstroke. Posner scored fourth place points for the Ephs. Hult dominated the 200 breakstroke, leaving Tufts to choke on her water.

Brennan, another double winner, cruised through the 500 freestyle, easily touching before her Jumbo competitiors. In the 100 butterfly, Warren hung on to first followed by C. Anderson and Carter in third and fourth.

C. Anderson completed her double win in the 200 Individual Medley. The 200 freestyle relay was controlled by the Williams team of E. Anderson, Seys, Warren, and Thompson on the Ephwomen’s road to decisive victory.

The men also performed well against a previously undefeated Tufts team. Stickler, Wood, Pickard, and Licon began the meet with a bang in winning the 200 Medley Relay. Not to be outdone, distance swimmers Doob and Davis took first and second in the 1000 freestyle.

Williams men swept the 200 freestyle when McBride, Friedberg, and Simerman claimed the top three places. A similar story ensued in the 100 backstroke. This time the competitors were King, Allen, and Gamblin. Co-captain Shade captured the 100 breaststroke followed closely by teammates Strickler and Wood in second and fourth. Erickson, the sole Williams representative in the 200 butterfly, earned second place points for the Ephmen. In the 50 freestyle, Williams once again swept the event with Licon, Poole, and Pickard. Williams also fared well in the 100 freestyle as co-captain Hodel, Oraker, and Simerman sprinted to first, second, and fourth.

The Jumbos were outdone once again in the 200 backstroke and in the 200 breastroke. King, Gamblin, and Allen took the top three places in the backstroke while Strickler and co-captain Shade placed first and second in the breaststroke.

Stretching out his lead with every lap, McBride won the 500 freestyle followed by Friedberg and Davis in third and fourth. Breaking away from his sprint freestyle routine, Licon won the 100 butterfly. Frink and Cole boosted the score with second and fourth place points.

Taking an early lead in the 200 Individual Medley, Morales led the event to the finish. Gansner placed fourth. Williams packed a final 1-2 punch in the 200 freestyle relay. Victorious were Licon, Oraker, Iams, and Morales. They were followed by the second relay team of Poole, Allen, Mackay, and Pickard.

By winning these final two meets, both the women and the men complete the dual meet season undefeated. The women head to Bowdoin for New England Championships February 19-21. The men’s New England Championships will be held here the following weekend.

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