Women’s swimming impresses

Coming off a Jan. 31 victory at Middlebury, women’s swimming (9-0, 5-0 in the NESCAC) performed with power amidst NESCAC and non-conference competition at the MIT Invite Friday and Saturday. Though teams did not receive scores, the meet measured the team’s training and marked the final regular season event.

“The women did a nice job this past weekend, in particular those who were ending their seasons,” said Head Coach Steven Kuster. “I especially want to highlight the six seniors who finished their careers this past weekend: Catie Lee, Kristan McIntosh, Claire Monroy, Denise Duquette, Ali Tozier and Emily Gray have been wonderful to coach and terrific teammates.”

Though they just missed a top-three spot, the Ephs’ fourth and fifth place finishes in the opening 200 yard medley spoke to the team’s depth. In the 1650 freestyle, co-captain Amanda Nicholson ’09 captured first place with a time of 17:19.73. She decisively defeated the second place Tufts swimmer by more than a minute. Nicholson also went on to take first in the 200 yard breaststroke and to join Courtney Asher ’09, Jillian Hancock ’11 and Anna Szymanski ’12 in winning the women’s 200 yard medley relay.

In the second long-distance event of the meet, the 1000 yard freestyle, Tracy Vitchers ’10 touched for third place with an impressive time of 11:09.35. The 400 yard IM demonstrated the Ephs’ strength as well, with Ellen Ramsey ’11 taking the win and Mary Wilson Molen ’09 and Tozier finishing in fourth and fifth, respectively.

Taylor Stevens ’11 led the pack for Williams both in the one meter diving with a fourth place finish with a score of 174.95 and a third place finish in the three meter diving with a score of 191.50, while Tufts’ Lindsay Gardel and Kelsey Bell took the top two spots in both events.

After the 200 yard medley relay, the women showed off their middle-distance talent by earning three of the top four finishes in the 200 yard freestyle event. Carolyn Geller ’12 posted the top time of 1:56.52, followed by St. Michael’s Eileen Mullowney. Christina Metcalf ’10 and Kathleen Morrison ’12 placed third and fourth respectively. The Ephs then proceeded to sweep the 100 backstroke: Logan Todhunter ’12 won with a time of 1:00.95, Lisa Cucolo ’10 placed second and Sophia Sequeira ’10 came in third.

Todhunter claimed victory again when she won the 100 yard freestyle with a time of 53.89. Another first-year, Bonnie Patchen ’12, finished fastest in the 100 yard butterfly, with Geller following in second. Erin Altenburger ’11 took first in the 200 yard backstroke, overtaking the Jumbos’ Megan Kono by more than three seconds.

The depth of the Williams team factored in once more when Williams scored the four fastest times in the 500 yard freestyle. Maia Dickenson ’12 led with a time of 5:07.82. Ramsey, Metcalf and Molen rounded out the top four.

The final event was the 200 yard freestyle relay, in which Geller, Cucolo, Szymanski and McIntosh came out ahead of conference rivals Tufts and Middlebury with a time of 1:39.11.
After such a successful meet, the women face their next competition at Bowdoin in the NESCAC Championships on Feb. 20.