Women’s swimming preps for postseason

Women’s swimming and diving (8-1) concluded its regular season this weekend at the Middlebury Invitational. For some swimmers, this competition represented something of a last-chance meet, because it was a final opportunity to both post new best times. For others, this meet was a warm-up for the approaching showdown at NESCACs in the middle of the month.

The women faced off against Middlebury and University of Vermont, but early on established their dominance: Kate O’Leary ’13, Kathleen Morrison ’12 and Lauren Goldstein-Kral ’12 placed second, eighth and 13th, respectively, in the 400 IM on Friday night. The high energy continued into the following day, leading to nine out of 15 possible first-place victories for the Ephs. Williams also swept the 200 freestyle: Caroline Wilson ’13 took first with her NCAA ‘B’ time of 1:53.47, while Kelsey Roggensack ’13, Christina Metcalf ’10 and Bryn Dunbar ’13 followed their teammate into second, third and fourth places, respectively. The following race, the 100 backstroke, also proved an exciting one: Logan Toddhunter ’12 led the pack during preliminaries and finals, and finished with a victorious time of 1:00.61.

The women didn’t let the fact that they would be competing all day distract them, but rather took it race by race. Head Coach Steve Kuster recognized his team’s valiant efforts over the weekend. “Overall our team had some good swims,” Kuster said.

The home meet against Middlebury on Jan. 30 was the last home competition for eight swimmers: Gigi Campo ’10, Lisa Chu ’10, Lisa Cucolo ’10, Joanna Hoffman ’10, Abby Islan ’10, Christina Metcalf ‘10 and Sophia Sequiera ‘10. The seniors helped to lead the team to a massive victory over Middlebury 206-85.

The home meet ended impressively for the team’s graduating members. Cuculo won the 200 breaststroke with a NCAA ‘B’ cut time of 2:25.67; Sequiera dominated the 200 free with a first place victory and a time of 1:56.88; Campo broke the minute in 100 freestyle for the first time; Metcalf cruised to a first place victory in the 100 breast stroke; and Chu represented the senior class in the 400 IM. Hoffman gave a solid performance in the 200 freestyle, while Islan had excellent swims in the 100 breast and 100 free. Diver Kera McClleland ’10, though she didn’t place, showcased her skill after coming back from an injury.

Kuster was very pleased with this performance. “It’s always nice to close out the dual meet season undefeated against Div. III teams, and the women were dominant throughout,” he said. Kuster added that the strength of the team lay in its ability to remain “versatile, flexible and strong in every meet with a lot of different contributors in a lot of events.”

Williams is already looking forward to the NESCAC competition, which will take place at Middlebury on Feb. 19.

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