Women’s swimming and diving wins big over Amherst

The Williams women’s swimming and diving team traveled deep into rival territory Saturday for its biggest competition of the dual meet season. When the wake settled at Amherst’s Pratt Pool, the Williams teams emerged victorious once again, leaving the Jeffs to wonder what had just happened. The women (4-0) took their meet by the decisive score of 172-128.

The women’s meet was peppered with pool records and cuts fo nationals. Pushed more than they have been previously this season, the women rose to the challenge posed by the Lady Jeffs. Starting things on the right note, the 200-yard medley relay team of Jocelyn Sutton ’01, co-captain Erin Anderson ’00, Zibby Stokes ’03 and Amy Warren ’01 won the event with a blistering 1:48.20. This time broke Amherst’s Pratt Pool record and also automatically qualified the quartet to swim at the NCAA Championships in March.

Not quite chasing down Amherst’s top relay, the team of Emily Jennings ’03, Britta Hult ’02, Carissa Carter ’01 and Liana Thompson ’01 placed third in 1:53.27. Phoebe Fischer ’02, Anne Mayall ’03, Charis Anderson ’01 and Katie Darling ’00 rounded things out for the Ephs, capturing fourth place. Building on the energy generated by the relay, sophomore Cristin Brennan cruised through the 1000-yard freestyle to win with a Pratt Pool record time of 10:18.28. This time chopped over 15 seconds of the previous record. Senior Elizabeth Overbay had a solid swim to place third in 11:05.76, while Laura Spero ’02 captured fifth place with her time of 12:04.51.

Amherst won its first event of the day in the 200-yard freestyle, but Williams swimmers Stokes and Thompson hung in the race to finish second (1:58.69) and third (2:00.32), respectively. Junior Lyssa Castonguay also had a fast swim, placing sixth in 2:02.77. In the 100-yard backstroke, Sutton was Williams’ top finisher as she placed second in 1:00.52. Her time was a B-cut (consideration time) for the NCAA Championships. In a tight race for the next three places, Fischer got her hand to the wall first, taking third in 1:03.61. Teammate Jennings’ 1:03.69 put her fifth.

After being sidelined for most of the season due to injury, E. Anderson demonstrated that she is still a force to be reckoned with as she won the 100-yard breaststroke with ease. Her time of 1:05.71 was an A-cut (automatic qualification) for NCAAs. Following close on Anderson’s heels, Hult placed second in 1:08.09, a B-cut time for NCAAs. Rounding out the Williams field, Mayall swam a quick 1:11.02 for fourth place.

The 200-yard butterfly saw three NCAA cuts, two by Williams swimmers. Senior co-captain Beth Boyd swam a B-cut of 2:12.07 for second place. C. Anderson finished just tenths of a second later in another B-cut time of 2:12.43, taking third place. Darling finished fourth in 2:16.62.

In the shortest event of the meet, the 50-yard freestyle, Williams swimmers turned out second, third and sixth places against a strong Amherst field. Warren swam a 24.54 to place second. This is a B-cut for NCAAs. Carter finished third in 25.39. Castonguay swam a time of 26.03 for sixth place.

The divers, too, faced healthy competition against Amherst. In the one-meter competition, the top five places were separated by less than 20 points. Heather Cyr ’00 won one-meter with her score of 228.30. First-year Caroline Crocker placed fourth for Williams with a score of 212.70, while Rebecca Steuer ’02 placed fifth (209.93).

In the 100-yard freestyle, Warren was the top finisher for Williams as she placed second in 53.79, a B-cut for NCAAs. Thompson finished fourth for the Ephs in a time of 54.97, and Carter placed sixth in 57.76. Sutton and Fischer repeated their 2-3 finishes from the 100 backstroke in the 200-yard backstroke. Sutton’s time of 2:10.24 was a B-cut for NCAAs. Fischer swam a solid 2:14.31 for third and Jennings was fifth in 2:15.08.

The 200-yard breaststroke was a strong event for the Ephs as Hult won in 2:27.07 and Boyd captured second place with her time of 2:29.08. Both swims were NCAA B-cuts. Mayall pulled in more points for the team with her fourth place finish of 2:33.03.

Brennan won her second event of the day and had her second Pratt Pool record of the day as she won the 500-yard freestyle in 5:03.55, an A-cut for the NCAA Championships. Overbay and Melissa McKenzie ’03 placed fifth and sixth, respectively, with times of 5:22.17 and 5:35.58. Following Brennan’s example, Stokes set a Pratt Pool record and swam an A-cut in the 100-yard butterfly, which she won in 57.57. Nipping at NCAA B-cuts and the minute barrier, C. Anderson and Darling placed third (1:00.48) and fourth (1:00.89), respectively. Cyr was in top form again on the three-meter board, winning the diving competition with 256.20 points, which surpasses the NCAA qualification standard. Crocker placed second on three-meter with a score of 247.50 and Steuer was fifth with 206.85 points.

Hult earned her third B-cut of the day as she placed second in the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 2:12.74. Boyd touched just a second later to take third place in 2:13.95. Castonguay picked up fifth place for Williams as she swam a 2:19.07.

Knowing they had the meet in hand, the last relay was icing on the cake for the Williams women. Thompson, Carter, Stokes and Warren pulled out a narrow win over Amherst’s top relay team to take the event in 3:40.86. Darling, Sutton, Jennings and Brennan swam a time of 3:44.21 for third place, and Amy Graham ’03, Rachel DeSouza ’03, Alix Partnow ’02, and Cynthia Posner ’02 swam a time of 4:02.35 for fifth place. Reflecting on the meet Boyd commented, “We really came together as a team and swam well. We were up and ready to swim fast and we did. It’s nice to beat Amherst at their pool.”

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