Women’s swim strokes to 2-1 record

After a 227-55 victory over Union on Nov. 17, last weekend’s tri-meet with Fordham and Boston College provided a bit more competition for women’s swimming and diving. Despite the women’s dominant sweep of multiple events on Nov. 17, including the 1000 and 100 freestyle, 200 butterfly and 100 breaststroke, last weekend’s Div. I opponents did not allow for such domination. While the women swam to a decisive 225-75 victory over Boston College, Fordham made a strong showing and just topped the women with a final score of 166-128.

Last weekend’s meet was the first of such tests, and the women demonstrated their potential even in the face of Fordham’s large team. Williams proved its ability to compete with Div. I swimmers by posting top finishes in many events. Co-captain Caroline Wilson ’13 placed first in each of her individual events, most impressively in the 200 freestyle, in which she touched the wall four seconds ahead of the second-place finisher. Sarah Thompson ’15 also made a strong showing by earning first in the 500 freestyle, as did Katie Bennett ’16, who captured first in the 100 backstroke. These standout swims were supplemented by strong performances in the 200 medley relay and the 400 freestyle relay, where the Ephs captured both second and third in each event.

As a whole, the team rose to the challenge presented by Fordham, posting impressive swims across the board. “We got excited and had some very solid performances,” co-captain Liz Visconti ’13 said. “[The Boston College]-Fordham [meet] is always very exciting because we get to race against Div, I teams, and we definitely held our own.” Wilson agreed, noting that the increased competition is certainly a challenge that the women look forward to each year. “It’s definitely hard to keep energy levels that high for almost four hours of a swim meet, but everyone did awesome,” she said.

Despite having beaten Fordham last season, Head Coach Steven Kuster was satisfied with last weekend’s results. “It was probably our best performance on the road at either [Boston College] or Fordham,” Kuster said. “There were some very good swims and races turned in by lots of team members. With a relatively small team, our depth is something we will have battle with all season. If we are going to live up to our expectations as a team, we will have to get contributions from absolutely every member.”

The women opened their season with a 227-55 victory over Union on Nov. 17. Wilson again led the Ephs, claiming first in both the 200 butterfly and 200 IM. The women were also strong in the distance events, as Rebecca Maher ’13 touched first in the 1000 freestyle, followed closely by Tess Vorselen ’15 in second. McKenzie Murdoch ’14 dominated the diving competition, banking 286.04 points on the one-meter and 287.55 points on the three-meter.

“It was good to get the first competition under our belts,” Kuster said. “Certainly it was a low-stress chance to get some early season racing in, and there were some glimpses of what the team might be capable of when put to the test.”

The women now set their sights on Saturday’s dual meet with Conn. College. This will be their first meet against a fellow NESCAC school and their last before the winter break and their annual training trip to Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Events will begin at 1 p.m.

The captains and Kuster have high expectations for this meet and those to follow. “We’ll have to keep working hard in practice, develop good race strategies and stay excited for every opportunity to race that we are given,” Visconti said.