Women’s swimming conquers Springfield in season opener

In its season-opening meet, women’s swimming and diving (1-0) dominated its out-of-conference Springfield opponent, finishing with an impressive 195.5 to 104.5 win over the No. 14 team. The women swept the first six events of the meet and swam well against what was perhaps tougher competition than expected.

“Overall, I would say the women performed well on the boards and off the blocks,” Head Coach Steve Kuster said. “There were several races in which we were pushed, including both relays. I was pleased with how we responded in those situations.”

The medley relay team of Katie Bennett ’16, Molly Prindle ’15, Sarah Thompson ’15 and co-captain Aly Levine ’14 edged out the Pride in the opening race, winning with a time of 4:00.21. The Ephs continued to represent their team with first-place finishes by Megan Pierce ’17 in the 1000 freestyle and an impressive win in the 200 freestyle by Thompson.

Lauren Jones ’17 touched the wall first in the 100 backstroke with a time of 1:00.31, and Faye Sultan ’16 finished close behind, continuing to widen the women’s lead. Breanna Nguyen ’16 posted an impressive time of 1:07.39 in the 100 breaststroke, recording another win for the women. Maddy Holker ’16 finished first in the grueling 200 butterfly, with a time of 2:15.00, closely followed by Sophie Pietrantonio ’17 in a time of 2:15.07.

The diving squad also turned in a standout performance. Co-captain McKenzie Murdoch ’14 finished first in the one-meter competition, while the Ephs took second, third, and fourth in the three-meter event through Michelle Higgins ’15, Murdoch and Ari Ross ’17.

Thompson dominated the 100 freestyle, with a first-place finish in a time of 53.64. The 200 backstroke displayed the depth of the Williams backstrokers, with Bennett finishing first, Olivia Jackson ’17 finishing second and Erica Myers ’17 touching the wall fourth. The Ephs easily won the 200 backstroke, with Pierce finishing first, followed by Olivia Clark ’17 in third and Prindle in fourth. Nguyen won the 500 freestyle, and Bennett took the top spot in the 200 IM. The 200 freestyle relay of Sultan, Nguyen, Thompson and Jones finished the meet strong with a time of 1:38.62.

“It was really exciting to see the freshman class compete at their first meet,” Levine said. “Everyone did a great job racing and being competitive after a very hard week of training, and that says a lot about where we can be as a team at the end of the season.”

The women hope to continue their winning streak in their first home meet of the season against Union this Saturday. The meet starts at noon and will be in Samuelson-Muir Pool.