Women’s swim sprints towards NESCACs

Women’s swim and dive (6-0, 3-0 in the NESCAC) has hit the ground running this 2014 to 15 season. Last Saturday, the Ephs traveled to Middletown, Conn. to face Conn. College and Wesleyan in a tri-meet at the Freeman Aquatic Center. The women defeated Conn. 217.5-69.5 and Wesleyan 225-70, scores that support their success on the road to the NESCAC championship.

The meet started with a 200 medley relay win for the Eph quartet of Katherine Bennett ’16, Emma Nuzzo ’16, Emma Waddell ’18 and co-captain Sarah Thompson ’15, followed by another victory in the 1650 by Megan Pierce ’17 and a fourth-place finish from co-captain Erica Bucki ’15. Williams showed strength in both the 100 and 200 butterfly events, with top times from Thompson, Waddell, Sofie Pietreantonio ’17, Anna Epstein ’16 and Maddie Downs ’18. Williams divers eclipsed the competition, with Ari Ross ’17 and Michelle Higgins ’15 capturing the top two spots on the one- and three-meter boards. The Ephs finished strong with fantastic performances in the 400 individual medley and the 200 freestyle relay, and they cruised to victory over their NESCAC competition.

The afternoon of Jan. 10 brought a palpable tension to the Samuelson-Muir Pool where Williams hosted its historical rival, Amherst. The women continued their winning streak, posting an impressive 216-72 win over Amherst. Following a close race in the opening relay, the team took control of the meet, with individual victories and strong swimming and diving across the board.

After Thanksgiving break, the women returned to campus with an impressive 221-77 win over Boston College, a Div. I competitor, on Dec. 6. Winning the opening relay, the Ephs met the Eagles’ fierce competition with intensity and focus. This victory was followed by several others in individual events and a decisive win in the closing 400 freestyle relay.

On Nov. 22, the women earned a resounding 200-93 victory over Union. The women earlier defeated Springfield 176-96 at home in the first meet of the season on Nov. 21.

When asked about the season, Thompson said, “So far the season has been going great. The team has been working really hard and swimming fast against some tough competitors. We are all getting really excited for NESCACs and hoping for some really great swims at the end of the season.”

The team will compete at MIT this coming Friday, followed by a meet at Middlebury on Saturday. “The group certainly seems poised for a run at another NESCAC title,” Head Coach Steve Kuster said. “Last year the focus and motivation came easily: win back the title we had lost the year before. This year the group will have to find equal motivation in order to be at their best at Wesleyan [for the NESCAC championship] in a few weeks. The team is headed in a great direction and should be ready for some great performances during the championship months in February and March.”