Despite loss, swim team’s hopes are still high

In their last dual meet of the season, both the Swarthmore men’s and women’s swim teams lost to the home-standing Dickinson Red Devils on Saturday. The women’s team, coming off a narrow 110-95 loss to conference leader Gettysburg on Jan. 28, suffered a heartbreaking 105-100 defeat, while the men’s team fell by a final score of 121-84.

The women’s team got off to a fast start, as the relay team of Rosalie Lawrence ’12, Maggie Regan ’14, Naomi Glassman ’12 and Erin Lowe ’14 took first place in the 400-yard medley with a time of 4:13.42.

Regan also picked up an individual victory in the 200-yard breaststroke (2:32.01), beating her closest competitor by over six seconds. Lowe and Glassman finished one and two for the Garnet in the 200-yard butterfly (2:16.97, 2:18.65), and Glassman was part of the relay team that finished first in the 400-yard freestyle (3:43.06), edging Dickinson by a mere three-tenths of a second.

The Garnet was also helped by another strong showing by the class of 2015, especially from Kate Wiseman and Supriya Davis. Wiseman was perfect on the day, notching two individual victories in the 50 and 100-yard freestyle events (24.91, 54.15), and adding another win as a part of the 400-freestyle team. Davis, who was also a part of that team, finished first in the 200-yard freestyle (1:56.97) and a close second in the 500-yard freestyle (5:17.04).

Rebecca Teng ’14, the other member of the 400-freestyle team, finished the meet with two second-place finishes in the 200-yard backstroke (2:19.19) and the 200-yard individual medley (2:18.92).

Despite closing the season with two narrow losses, the women’s team is proud of its record and eager for the Centennial Conference championships, which will be held at Gettysburg College from February 17-19.

“The women’s team has had a great dual meet season overall and this meet does not diminish how successful our season has been,” freestyler Jackie Scala ’12 said. “Both our individual swimmers and relay teams are very competitive within the conference and I know we’ll see many impressive performances.”

Lawrence also has high hopes for the team’s chances at conferences. “If everything goes in our favor, I think we have a serious chance of getting second and there’s even a possibility we’ll win.”

Indeed, the women’s team has had many strong showings throughout the season, both individually and as a team, and their times match up well against those posted by the rest of the Centennial Conference. As of Feb. 6, the Garnet’s times were in the top three for the conference in eleven events, including the fastest times in the 200 and 400-yard medley relays. Davis and Lowe own the top times in both the 100-yard fly (57.55, 1:01.91) and the 200-yard fly (2:07.54, 2:13.36).

On the men’s side, the loss to Dickinson featured many strong performances from the Garnet.
In the 1000-yard freestyle, Josh Satre ’13 and Peter Ballen ’14, finished first and second, respectively (10:32.25, 10:40.64).

Daniel Duncan ’13 captured first in the 200-yard freestyle (1:49.04) and a narrow second in the 500-yard freestyle, finishing less than three-tenths of a second behind first place.

John Flaherty ’14 also had a strong meet for Swarthmore, placing first in the 200-yard individual medley (2:02.45) and second in the 200-yard backstroke (2:02.55).

Going into the conference championships, the men own the fastest time in the conference for the 200-freestyle relay (1:19.99), but have fewer threats to medal at the championships than their female counterparts. In order to contend, they will be forced to rely on their depth to score points.

“Medals are important at conferences, but more important is how scoring works: the top 16 places all score points for the team, and each point counts. Since we are a deep team, I am looking for all of us to score points and contribute in some way,” Dante Fuoco ’12 said.

At this point in the season, both teams are entering their tapering phase, a period in which mileage in practice is decreased in order to recover and preserve energy before a major event, namely the conference championships. Although this stage is a crucial time for the swim teams, it is not one without levity.

“We try to make sure practices are focused with a light kind of mood because this is the most exciting part of the season,” Fuoco said. “I personally am looking forward to the time next week when we all dye our heads.”

Both the men’s and women’s swimming teams look to come out of their taper focused, energized, and in peak physical condition to make a statement at the Centennial Conference Championships, which will be hosted by Gettysburg College from Feb. 17-19.

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