Women’s swimming preps to pace national competition

Following a triumphant 2011-12 season, women’s swimming is looking ahead to yet another year of success. The women went undefeated in last year’s dual meet season with a record of 8-0 and won their 12th consecutive NESCAC title in February. As an added bonus, the team reached the NESCAC podium by its third-largest margin of victory ever, an impressive 368.5 points ahead of second-place Amherst. The women went on to place second at Div. III NCAA Championships in March, winning nine championship races over the four-day event.

Head Coach Steve Kuster will again lead the team. Kuster is a four-time women’s National Coach of the Year. He noted that in comparison with years past, this team is a little different. “This team is small,” Kuster said. “Plenty able, but smaller than any women’s team in my time here. Our challenge will be to stay healthy, train hard and all be functioning well at the end of the season. There’s not much leeway in terms of numbers.”

The team lost a powerful senior class, including Logan Todhunter ’12, winner of 11 NCAA Div. III individual titles and Swimmer of the Meet at Div. III NCAAs in 2012. However, co-captains Caroline Wilson ’13 and Liz Visconti ’13 are confident in both their teammates’ potential and readiness for any challenges ahead.

“I think the team this year is in much better shape than any previous year I have been here,” Wilson said. “Every practice so far has been eye-opening as to how much we are able to achieve at such an early point in the season.”

“We’ll definitely miss the presence and dominance of our graduated seniors, but we’ve got plenty of younger girls ready to step up,” Visconti said.

With nine rookies ready to assume their roles on this small but powerful squad, the loss of such a strong senior class will certainly be tempered. “We have some big holes to fill, but I am very excited to see people step up and make sure we don’t miss a beat,” Kuster said. “This team is being led by one of our best and deepest senior classes; hopefully, they are motivated to go out in a big way.”

For the diving side of the squad, Mackenzie Murdoch ’14 will be looking to return to the Div. III NCAA championships, in which she placed eighth last March.

The team looks to continue the tradition with its opening dual meet this Saturday at 1 p.m. at Union. The women will also compete against Fordham and Boston College at Fordham on Dec. 1 at 1 p.m.

Wilson is ready and enthusiastic for the season to fully get under way. “I cannot wait to have our first meet against Union and to start competing in real meets to watch everyone do incredible things!” she said. “Hopefully, this season we will, as a team, be able to swim fast and look good.”

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