Swimming Maintains Strong Start to Season

The Swarthmore men’s and women’s swimming teams each continued their strong starts to their seasons last weekend at the Swarthmore Invitational. Both teams finished in second place at the invitational, which featured teams from five schools.

For the women, leading the way was sensation Kate Wiseman ’15. Wiseman took first place in the 200 yard individual medley (2:14.55) and 100 yard freestyle (54.68), and also led Garnet relay teams to a win in the 400 yard medley relay and second place finishes in the 200 medley relay, 400 freestyle relay and 800 freestyle relay. Wiseman was particularly satisfied with her winning performance in the 200 individual medley, saying, “It was exciting, especially since I probably won’t be swimming it again this season.”

The team hopes Wiseman will continue to dominate the Centennial Conference by building off of a freshman campaign in which she earned all Centennial Conference First Team in the 50 and 100 yard freestyle, 200 and 400 medley relay and the 400 freestyle relay.

Wiseman has high expectations for Swarthmore’s young relay teams. Wiseman leads each of the relay teams, and she is joined, depending on the event, by some combination of Supriya Davis ’15, Eva Winter ’16, Nikkia Miller ’16 and Rebecca Teng ’14. She expects the relays to continue improving throughout the season, emphasizing that, “I want to see our relays really perform well at Conferences, hopefully breaking some records in the process.”

The Garnet have added several freshmen to this season’s team, and the immediate impacts of several of them has made a strong impression on their teammates. Maggie Regan ’14 lauded the freshmen for their work ethic, commenting that, “They all work extremely hard in practice and are very dedicated swimmers who love the sport.” Regan echoed Wiseman’s high hopes for continued improvement, predicting that, “With the way that everyone is swimming now, the season will only get better.”

Besides Wiseman, several Garnet won their events this weekend. Regan prevailed in the 200 yard breaststroke, with an impressive time of 2:34.59. Along with strong performances in the relays, junior Rebecca Teng finished sixth in the 50 yard freestyle. Miller finished third in the exciting 50 yard sprint, and won the 100 yard breaststroke (1:09.98). Finally, Davis was victorious in the 200 yard butterfly (2:10.15) and finished a close third in the 200 individual medley.

The men’s team continued their equally strong start to the season with a second place finish of their own. Highlighting the weekend for Swarthmore was Dan Duncan ’13, who narrowly won the 200 yard butterfly (1:58.46) in exciting, come-from-behind fashion. Trailing going into the final turn, Duncan came off the wall quickly to take a lead that he did not relinquish. “He seemed stuck on the wall while I was [turning], so I just went for it on the last lap,” Duncan said.

Charlie Hepper ’13 also turned in a strong performance this weekend, finishing 5th in the 500 yard freestyle and 4th in the 200 butterfly. John Flaherty ’14 was impressed by the performances of Duncan and Hepper, saying that, “Both established themselves as Conference favorites in both of the individual medley events and the 200 butterfly.”

Also helping Swarthmore to its second place finish were Josh Turek-Herman ’16 and Sam Tomlinson ’14, who grabbed third place finishes in the 1650 freestyle and the 200 backstroke, respectively. Swarthmore relay teams swam to several second place finishes. The teams, which included Duncan, Tomlinson, Flaherty, Cyrus Nasseri ’14, Stan Le ’14, Max Krackow ’15, Jake Benveniste ’14 and Roger Chin ’13, finished second in the 200, 400 and 800 freestyle relays, as well as the 200 and 400 medley relays.

Both Flaherty and Duncan have been impressed by the early-season performances of Satre and Turek-Herman. Duncan described the performances of each as “great,” especially since neither swimmer tapered off at the end of a grueling, mile-long race. Flaherty echoed Duncan’s sentiment, expressing his excitement to watch each “continue their dominance in the distance freestyle events.”

Looking forward, Duncan and Flaherty both cited finishing in the top three at Conferences as the team’s goal. Flaherty expects the team to “improve on what was a bit of a disappointing finish” last season, and Duncan shares this expectation, saying that he feels the team “has a great chance at the top three finish at Conferences.”  Led by stars Wiseman and Duncan, both swim teams project to be among the most successful Swarthmore sports teams this year.

Swarthmore hopes to continue its strong season by remaining undefeated in conference meets. The team will travel to Ursinus on Saturday before breaking for final exams and the holidays.

Daniel Duncan is the sports editor for The Phoenix. He had no role in the production of this article. 

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