Setbacks, although unfortunate, are an unavoidable part of every season, and the Swarthmore swim teams suffered their first of the year on Saturday. The season-starting unbeaten streaks of both teams came to an end at the hands of the Franklin & Marshall Diplomats, who bested the women 152-110 and the men 186-76.
The losses were not without promise, as the women fought a tough battle against the Diplomats, who earned a second-place finish at Conference Championships last season, splitting the individual events and the relays.
“All things considered, we didn’t swim [poorly],” Head Coach Sue Davis said. “[We had] a lot of good races, lots of season bests.”
In a promising continuation of last week’s progress, the underclassmen continued to swim strong races. Kate Wiseman ’15, whose first week of college competition boasted a school record, picked up three more wins in the 50 freestyle (24.87), 100 freestyle (55.06), and the 200 IM (2:16.49). Supriya Davis ’15, who has proven herself a force in a variety of events, came away with two first-place finishes, in the 200 freestyle (1:59.80) and 200 butterfly (2:11.27). Erin Lowe ’14, owner of some of last year’s top Conference times in freestyle and butterfly events, touched first in the 100 butterfly (1:02.33). The women also earned a win in the 200 medley relay, courtesy of Davis, Wiseman, Becky Teng ’14, and Maggie Regan ’14.
“I had hoped to be competitive with other sprinters in the conference, but I never imagined that I’d be going anywhere near my best times … at this point in the season,” Wiseman said, who looks to be a fixture in Swarthmore’s record book for years to come. “I’m completely surprised to be swimming this well so early in the season. Normally I wouldn’t hope to go this fast until February.”
The men, although suffering a greater margin of defeat than their female counterparts, had several strong performances from roster stalwarts.
Tim Brevart ’12 won his third straight 50 freestyle of the season (21.82) for the Garnet’s only individual win of the meet, and took second in the 100 (49.45). Max Krackow ‘15, having practiced his turn and finish since last week’s McDaniel meet, swam a fast 50 and took second behind Brevart (22.82). Sam Bullard-Sisken ’12 took second in the 100 backstroke (55.40), and John Flaherty ’14 nabbed three second-place finishes in the 200 freestyle (1:52.76), 200 backstroke (2:04.76) and 200 IM (2:05.41).
Beyond the senior successes of Brevart and Bullard-Sisken, Flaherty, who won a silver and two bronze medals at last year’s Championships as a first-year, has followed up his rookie campaign admirably.
“Obviously, I would love to be going faster, but I’m feeling pretty good right now,” Flaherty said. “I’m ready to drop more time as the season progresses … a year of experience has left me feeling much more sure of myself. I know that I won three medals at conferences last year, so I know that I should win almost every time I swim one of those events. I realize that my teammates are looking at me to score a lot of points, and I believe I can do it.”
The Garnet will take a break from team competition on Saturday, competing individually at the Rowan invite, for which action is scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m.
On Tuesday, Ware Pool will see its first meet of the year, as Swarthmore plays host to Ursinus. Competition will begin at 6 p.m.