Women’s swimming falls to Amherst

Women’s swimming (2-2) and diving matched up against Amherst this weekend and suffered its first NESCAC loss of the season, falling by only five points, 152.5-147.5.

In both relays, the Ephs finished second and third to the Jeffs. On the one-meter board, Julie van Deusen ’08, Kera McClelland ’10 and Dani Johnson ’08 dove for second, fourth and fifth, respectively. On the three-meter board, van Deusen, McClelland and Johnson finished third through fifth again.

Though not earning first place, the Williams trio of Courtney Asher ’09, Michelle Kurkul ’08 and Gigi Campo ’10 took 2-3-4 in the 100 breaststroke. In the 200 IM Nicholson, Ellen Ramsey ’11 and Kurkul took second through fourth. Ramsey achieved a personal best, finishing in 2:09.82.

The Ephs won five events over the course of the meet. Crissy Haley ’08 took the 200 butterfly (2:09.33), while fellow senior Kurkul finished first in the 200 breaststroke (2:27.35). Head Coach Steve Kuster noted that Kurkul was the best performer of the day, with three outstanding swims, including her 200 breaststroke win.

Mary Wilson Molen ’09 posted a win in the 1000 freestyle (10:33.46), while Amanda Nicholson also won her event for the Ephs, swimming the 500 freestyle in 5:07.60. Ramsey’s 200 freestyle win was particularly exceptional, as she broke the pool record with a time of 2:09.33 and earned a National B-cut.

The rookies have proven that they will be strong assets to the team. “Ellen Ramsey has been leading the way, but I expect come championship season we will be getting big contributions from [many] of our first years,” said Kuster. They are a very strong and deep class and they will play a significant role in our continued success.”

Kuster credited a wide variety of swimmers in every event. “Depth is what we will be relying on to try and defend our NESCAC title as other teams may have more top end talent,” he said.

The Ephs will have the chance to meet the Jeffs again at NESCACs on Feb. 22-24.

But before they do that Williams will travel to Wesleyan on Saturday for a tri-meet against the home team and Tufts.