Swimmers and divers dominate Union

The men’s and women’s swim teams have gotten a great start to the season under the leadership of first-year coach Steven Kuster. The men are 2-0 after defeating Wesleyan 181-106 December 11th and downing Union 154-65 on Saturday. The women have a 3-0 record including a 177-107 victory over Wesleyan December 11th, a 207-83 decision at Smith last Wednesday and a 136-98 defeat of Union this past Saturday.

Leading the way for the Ephmen against Wesleyan were Cyrus King ’00 and Todd Gamblin ’02, as they both recorded NCAA consideration times in the 200 yard backstroke (1:54.95 and 1:56.50, respectively). Tri-captain Chris Wendell ’00 also achieved an NCAA qualifying standard at the meet as he won the one meter diving competition with 283.725 points.

On the women’s side, sophomores Cristin Brennan and Britta Hult had a pair of fast swims. Brennan had an NCAA consideration time of 5:11.35 in the 500 yard freestyle, while Hult swam a consideration time of 2:28.25 in the 200-yard breaststroke. On the diving boards, Heather Cyr ’00 and Caroline Crocker ’03 were both in top form. Cyr surpassed the NCAA qualifying standards on both one-meter and three-meter with scores of 246.525 and 265.425 points, respectively. Crocker won her first collegiate diving competition on one-meter with 263.1 points, which is also an NCAA qualifying score.

The Smith meet was a chance for the women to mix up their lineup and swim some alternate events. First-years Zibby Stokes and Crocker led the team with two victories apiece. Stokes won the 200-yard butterfly in an NCAA consideration time of 2:13.92. She also captured the 200-yard individual medley. Crocker won both the one-meter and three-meter diving competitions, recording NCAA qualification standards on both boards.

Swimming against Union on Saturday, the Ephs took off on the first race and never looked back. Union won only one event throughout the course of the entire meet. Meanwhile, Williams, particularly on the men’s side, swept a good number of the events.

Starting things off on the women’s side, Jocelyn Sutton ’01, Anne Mayall ’03, Amy Warren ’01 and Liana Thompson ’01 won the 400 yard medley relay in 4:08.43. Teammates Phoebe Fisher ’02, Britta Hult ’02, Carissa Carter ’01 and Melissa McKenzie ’03 touched in second place with a time of 4:16.27. Geoff Allen ’01, Don Wood ’00, Seth Borland ’03 and Alex Poole ’00 won the men’s medley relay in 3:39.22. They were followed closely by Gamblin, Elliot Gansner ’02, Paul Friedberg ’01 and Nate Krissoff ’03, who finished second in 3:40.24.

Beginning the individual events, senior co-captain Beth Boyd captured the women’s 1000 freestyle in 11:04.05. Laura Spero ’02 touched out Union’s top swimmer to finish second in 12:02.27. Ben Doob ’02 captured the men’s 1000 freestyle in 10:06.43. He was followed to the wall by tri-captain Pat Burton ’00, second in 10:09.68, and Jason Frink ’00, third in 10:11.43.

Swimming the 200 freestyle for Williams, Brennan captured the women’s race in 1:56.39, an NCAA consideration time. Stokes placed second in 1:59.79 and Elizabeth Overbay ’00 was third with a time of 2:01.75. King won the men’s 200 freestyle in 1:45.00. He was followed closely by teammates Jeff McBride ’02 and Daniel Morales ’02, who swam times of 1:45.40 and 1:45.94 for second and third place, respectively.

Back from fall semesters abroad, sprinters Warren and Carter captured the top two spots in the 50-meter freestyle. Warren’s time of 24.58 was an NCAA consideration time, while Carter was second in 25.65. Leading the sprinters on the men’s side were John Cole ’00, who won the 50 in 22.45, and Justin Stach ’03, third in 23.28.

Swimming the 200 individual medley (IM) for Williams, Lyssa Castonguay ’01 was the team’s top finisher with a second-place finish in 2:16.87. Fisher touched third in 2:22.30 and Cynthia Posner ’02 was fourth in 2:24.70. Brian Strickler ’01 won the men’s 200 IM in 2:02.54. He was followed to the wall by teammates Pat McCurdy ’02 (2:05.26) and David Lewis ’03 (2:06.90).

The women had an outstanding showing in the 200 butterfly as Hult and Charis Anderson ’01 both swam NCAA consideration times. Hult captured the race in 2:12.64 and Anderson placed second in 2:13.80. Sophomore Alix Partnow swam a solid race to take fourth in her first time ever swimming the 200 butterfly. Frink captured the men’s 200 butterfly in 1:59.05. Morales and Friedberg placed second and third in 2:03.22 and 2:03.41, respectively.

A different pair of juniors led the way in the 100 freestyle sprint for the women. Thompson won the race in 56.34, while Sutton touched second in 56.63. In the men’s race Allen won in 47.92. Poole was second in 49.57 and Fulton Breen ’03 was fourth in 51.73.

Stokes was the top finisher in the women’s 200 backstroke, winning with a time of 2:13.81. Fisher was second in 2:18.31 and Katie Darling ’00 placed fourth with her time of 2:24.85. In the men’s 200 backstroke Gamblin led the charge, winning in 1:57.15. He was followed by fellow sophomores Mike Simerman and McCurdy, who finished in second (2:03.89) and third (2:06.45), respectively.

Recording her second NCAA consideration time of the day, Brennan captured the 500 freestyle in 5:05.29. She was followed by Overbay in 5:22.68 (second) and Mayall in 5:31.24 (third). McBride cruised to a victory in the men’s 500 with a time of 4:48.09. Jeremy Faust ’01 placed second in 5:04.57 and Joel Iams was third in 5:11.48.

Boyd won her second event of the day when she took the 200 breaststroke in 2:31.70. Next to finish for the Ephwomen was Posner, fifth in 2:39.75. Gansner won the men’s 200 breaststroke in 2:14.61. Borland placed second with his time of 2:15.14 and Bevan Londergan ’00 was third in 2:19.40.

In the last swimming event of the day, Williams captured the top places in the 400 freestyle relay. Castonguay, Stokes, Warren and Carter won the women’s relay in 3:47.44, while teammates Hult, Anderson, Brennan and Overbay placed second in 3:48.05. King, Morales, J. Cole and Friedberg swam a time of 3:15.04 to take the men’s race, while Jason Oraker ’00, Krissoff, Strickler and Gamblin took second in 3:18.78.

In an entirely different area of the competition, the divers also had a successful day against Union. Crocker won the 1-meter board with a score of 237.95. Cyr was second with 226.85 points and Rebecca Steuer ’02 was third (204.20 points). Wendell won the men’s 1-meter competition with 271.90 points, which surpasses the NCAA qualifying standard.

Wendell was also victorious on the 3-meter board, as he recorded 230.10 points. Cyr won the women’s 3-meter competition with 250.35 points. Steuer was second (247.50) and Crocker was third (233.80).

Reflecting on the day’s events, Warren commented, “I think the team really pulled together everyone therefore swam very, very well.” Boyd felt similarly, noting that everyone is doing a really great job and looking good in the water.

Mindful of upcoming meets, Coach Kuster commented to the teams after the meet, “I think we have done some good things…but we need to be prepared to step it up a level, maybe two.”

The swimming and diving teams will now prepare to face arch-rival Amherst next weekend.