Women’s swim preps for NESCACs

On Jan. 31, women’s swim and dive (8-0, 4-0 in the NESCAC) kicked off the championship season with the Middlebury Invitational, an exciting, non-scoring meet. The women also faced off against Middlebury on Jan. 24 and MIT on Jan. 23 in their final two dual meets of the season. The Ephs emerged victorious in both matchups, ultimately clinching an undefeated record for yet another year. Maddy Holker ’16, Nora Lee ’17, Isabella Salmi ’17 and Anna Neufeld ’18 wrapped up their seasons with some exciting swims at the Middlebury Invitational, where the remainder of the team also competed. Lee ’17 started the meet with a personal best in the 200 IM, finishing with a time of 2:14.07. Faye Sultan ’16 finished first in the 50 free, followed closely by Neufeld. The 200 free was another strong event for the women, providing several season-best times: co-captain Sarah Thompson ’15 finished first, followed closely by Katie Priest ’18, Emma Sawkins ’18, Delaney Smith ’18, Holker, Salmi and Neufeld. Williams’ divers dominated the meet as well, with Ariana Ross ’17 setting a new 1-meter pool record on the first day of competition, while Michelle Higgins ’15 set a 3-meter record the following day.

The Ephs proved their mid-distance freestyle strength with the 500, in which Thompson finished first and Megan Pierce ’17 finished second. Thompson was pleased with the team’s performance, calling the Invite “a great way to start championship season. The energy was really high throughout the whole meet, and there were some great swims.” On Jan. 24, the women were again on the road, this time to face their final NESCAC opponent, Middlebury, in a sprint-oriented conclusion to the dual meet season that ended with a 171.5-105.5 victory for the Ephs. On Jan. 23, the women faced MIT, the No. 6 Div. III team in the nation.

Strong showings from the team led the Ephs to a 167-130 victory over the Engineers. Bucki summed up the tough weekend saying, “The [women] went up against both MIT and Middlebury last weekend in a very difficult back-to-back [lineup]. Once again, I am extremely proud to be on a team of such dedicated swimmers who choose to embrace tough weekends as important steps to achieving our goals as one team.” The women now look to next weekend for the Wesleyan-hosted NESCAC championships. Thompson emphasizes that, following an undefeated dual meet season and a successful Middlebury Invite, the team is “more excited than ever to keep the energy up and prepare to take on conference this weekend.”