Women’s swimming dominates at Wesleyan

Women’s swimming came out strong the past two weekends following a week of training in Florida over winter break. Last weekend, the women claimed victories against Wesleyan and Tufts after dominating Amherst on Jan. 9. The wins over Wesleyan and Amherst gave the team its second straight Little Three title.

Williams faced off against Wesleyan and Tufts on Saturday and defeated both schools handily. The women from each team raced in every event, but the scoring was done on a dual system, with each team compared to only one other school at a time rather than both at once. Williams won 175 to 115 over Tufts and 174 to 111 over Wesleyan.

Caroline Wilson ’13, Logan Todhunter ’12, Ellen Ramsey ’11 and co-captain Christina Metcalf ’10 were all especially impressive in the meet, as each earned multiple wins. A number of underclassmen, including Abbie Deal ’12, Kate O’Leary ’13 and Kathryn Ha ’13, placed second under the winning Ephs, speaking to the depth of the team.

The Ephs came out strong from the beginning, sweeping the 200 medley relay to set the tone for the day. Todhunter, Liz Visconti ’13, Lisa Cuculo ’10 and Carolyn Geller ’12 teamed up to finish in a time of 1:49.40. The Ephs’ B and C relay teams clocked times of 1:51.84 and 1:53.22, respectively, to round out the sweep.

Throughout the day, Williams swimmers won every event with the exception of the 1650 freestyle, 200 backstroke and 1 M diving. Hannah Wilson ’12 only took second in that event, but then snagged first place in the 3 M diving.

“There were some very good swims [this weekend],” Head Coach Steven Kuster said. Kuster said that the Ephs’ performance in the meet “is truly a testament to how deep and versatile our team is.” He added, “I would be hard pressed to find a weakness right now in this team.”

On Jan. 9, Williams showed Amherst no mercy. The Ephs crushed the Jeffs, 207-91, winning 12 out of the total 16 events and setting four records. Ha, Cucolo, Todhunter and Wilson together set a pool record in the 200 medley relay with an NCAA B time of 1:47.93. Wilson, Jillian Hancock ’11 and Rebecca Maher ’13 snagged the first three spots in the 100 freestyle with respective times of 10:20.56, 10:44.04 and 10:45.97. The 200 butterfly was led by Todhunter, who won the race with a time of 2:01.63. Bonnie Patchen ’12 came in second with a time of 2:08.11, and teammate Kelsey Roggensack ’13 rounded out the Williams sweep at 2:09.77. Patchen and Todhunter also earned NCAA spots, as did Ramsey, who raced an NCAA B time of 2:08.81 in the 200 backstroke.

O’Leary earned first in an exciting 100 freestyle race with a time of 53.89, and was followed by fellow Ephs Roggensack at 54.59, Metcalf at 54.69 and Anna Szymanski ’12 at 55.19. The Ephs also swept the 500 freestyle, with Ramsey taking the event at 5:12.09, followed closely by Deal at 5:15.31 and Ha at 5:15.78.

Continuing her streak of impressive results, Wilson set yet another pool record of 4:56.17 for the Ephs in the 500 freestyle. Todhunter broke a pool record as well in the 100 butterfly, setting the new record at 55.58. In the last event of the meet, the Ephs once again claimed a NCAA B title with Wilson, Todhunter, Bryn Dunbar ’13 and Geller posting 3:34.75 in the 400- yard freestyle relay.

“The group was very ready for the meet against Amherst,” Kuster commented. “I expected some close races, but for the most part they didn’t materialize. The women truly dominated in a meet where I didn’t actually think we were firing on all cylinders.”

Despite the success of the season thus far, Kuster was hesitant to let his team get complacent. “As for looking ahead, I am ready to witness some more dominating performances, but I want to make sure the women don’t get comfortable. We need to continue to improve each week,” he said.
Williams faced Union at home last night, but results came in too late to report. The Ephs will travel to Springfield again to compete at 1 p.m. on Saturday.

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