Swim, Dive look strong at non-scored match at Middlebury, NESCAC Championships next

The men’s and women’s swim teams traveled to Middlebury last weekend to compete once more before the NESCAC championships. Team scores were not kept at the Middlebury Invitational, but the Ephs swam well and posted some quick swims before resting for the NESCAC championships.

The women’s NESCAC championships are this weekend at Bowdoin and the men’s are at home next weekend. Unfortunately, each team in the NESCAC is only allowed to take 24 swimmers and divers to the conference meet.

Because the Williams teams, both men and women, are so large, not everyone can attend. Those who are not going to NESCACs tapered for the Middlebury Invitational.

Co-captain Zibby Stokes ’03 was especially impressed with those swimmers whose season ended. “The Midd invite was a great environment for the taper swimmers to have their final swims of the season,” Stokes said. “They posted some fast times and it was exciting to watch them really go for it.”

Co-captain Anne Mayall ’03 was also proud of the dedication that these swimmers showed. “At the end of the day, they were all happy with their performances,” Mayall said. “This is a testament to how they swam and how hard they worked all season.”

The rest of the women’s team, still worn down from double practices over Winter Study, has started to look toward the NESCAC championship. The team has started tapering, decreasing the yardage they swim at practice each day.

“We’re starting to narrow our focus on our championship meet,” Stokes said. “I think that the women are going to have some very impressive performances at NESCACs this year. I can’t wait to see how everyone swims once they are fully rested and shaved.”

Head Coach Steve Kuster is proud of the work that the women did this year and he is determined to hold onto the NESCAC title. “We have done some great work this year,” Kuster said. “Now it is time to allow everyone to get ready physically and mentally.”

Those women who have already qualified for Nationals will not be tapering for NESCACs and still have a few weeks left in their season. “There will be a few people that will not be preparing the way the others are because they already made nationals cuts,” Kuster explained. “But I will be expecting everyone to show up at Bowdoin fired up and ready for a great meet.”

The men also had some team members shave and taper for the Middlebury Invitational, ending their season this weekend.

Kuster was incredibly pleased with the performance of these swimmers. “Overall, I felt that the tapered [swimmers] did very well,” Kuster said. “Everyone had at least one swim that they could feel very good about. The seniors that were finishing up their careers in particular made me very proud, not just by what they did in the water, but by how meaningful they have been to me and the team over the last four years.”

Adam Cole ’03 was one of the swimmers whose season ended. Cole time-trialed his 50- freestyle multiple times until he was satisfied with the results. “That commitment and motivation was truly impressive,” Mayall said about Cole’s performance.

Co-captain Nate Krissoff ’03 was proud of this teammate’s performance and eager to see how the rest of the team will perform at NESCACs.

“If this past weekend is any kind of precursor for what is to come, then our team is headed for a NESCAC victory,” Krissoff claimed. “The swimmers who shaved and tapered for the Middlebury meet had nearly all personal best times across the board.  We’re all extremely pumped.  And we’re looking down the road two weeks to regaining the NESCAC title in our home pool in front of our fans.”

The Ephs posted some impressive swims. Seth Borland ’03 won both the 200 free and the 400 IM. Zack Orjuela ’06 won the 50 free (22.33) and finished second in both the 500 free (4:58) and the 200 IM (2:08). Will Cunningham ’06 won the 100 free and Brad Brecher ’06 took the 100 fly.

In the diving events, John Seldon ’06 posted an impressive first-place finish on the 1 meter. Elliot Crafton ’06 finished third.

Unlike the women, the men are just starting their taper and are still swimming a significant amount of yardage. They have three more weeks of training before trying to re-gain the NESCAC title.