Swarthmore men’s and women’s swim put on a triumphant show at the NCAA Championships in Greensboro, NC. Within four days of competition, fourteen Garnet athletes captured eight All-American distinctions and broke several program records.
Sophie Rotival ’25 commented on the atmosphere at the NCAA Championships: “The atmosphere was very competitive but also very supportive. It is very easy to get intimidated and in your own head at the NCAA’s. It is the biggest meet most people will ever compete in for Division III. This year, however, we had a much larger team of fourteen, and it made the overall experience and environment really positive.”
On Wednesday, March 15, the opening day of competition, Swarthmore women’s swimming earned their first individual All-American distinction since 2012 and their first relay team All-American distinction in 26 years.
Kate Hallmark ’26 headlined the day in the 500-yard freestyle. Clocking a time of 4:59.61 in the preliminaries, the first-year broke her own Swarthmore program record set at the Centennial Conference Championships. Tying for sixteenth in the preliminaries, Hallmark then competed in a swim off to determine qualification for the NCAA finals. Hallmark triumphed in the swim off with a time of 4:59.61, beating her Denison College opponent by nearly two seconds to qualify for the finals. Hallmark finished in sixteenth in the NCAA finals with a time of 5:00.87 to earn All-American honorable mention honors.
Rotival highlighted Hallmark’s performance. “Some of the NCAA highlights definitely include Kate Hallmark swimming three 500-meter freestyles in one day and getting a best time in all three of them!”
Swarthmore women’s 200 medley relay of Erin Szuromi ’25, Gaby Ma ’23, Ashley Wong ’24, and Elle Anthony ’26 also competed that day. They finished fourteenth in the preliminary round with a time of 1:44.25 to qualify for the NCAA finals. The Garnet grabbed fifteenth place overall with a time of 1:44.54 in the finals, earning All-American honorable mention status and making history for the second time that day.
On Thursday, March 16, Swarthmore men’s swimming compounded Garnet success. The 400 medley relay of Joey Lukner ’25, Andrew Karpenko ’24, Cami Wilson ’26, and Cole Griscavage ’25 placed sixteenth in the preliminary round with a time of 3:19.85 to earn a spot in the finals. With a time of 3:20.85, the Garnet captured fifteenth overall in the finals and an All-American honorable mention distinction.
Swarthmore women’s swimmer Quinn Weygandt ’26 triumphed in the 400-yard individual medley. The first-year touched the wall at thirteenth place in the preliminaries with a personal best time of 4:26.73. Weygandt captured another thirteenth place finish in the finals with a 4:27.26 effort to earn her first All-American honorable mention distinction.
To finish out the day, Swarthmore women’s 400-yard medley tallied yet another All-American distinction for the Garnet. The team of Szuromi, Rotival, Wong, and Anthony clocked a time of 3:48.20 in preliminaries, the second fastest time in program history. Coming in thirteenth place, the Garnet secured a spot for the finals. In the finals, the team improved on their time, finishing tenth overall at 3:47.00 to set a new program and conference record and earn All-American honorable mention status.
Rotival shared her excitement for the 400 medley relay team: “We also had a few amazing relays, including the 400-meter medley relay with Erin Szuromi, Ashley Wong, Ainsley Jane Tambling, and myself. We beat many of our rival teams, set a Swarthmore and Centennial Conference record and came in tenth overall as All-Americans!”
On Friday, March 17, Rotival wore the “S” with pride, as she touched the wall in tenth place in the 100-yard breaststroke preliminaries. The sophomore clocked a time of 1:02.97 to earn the top ten finish. In the finals, Rotival finished twelfth overall with a time of 1:03.70, earning yet again an All-American honorable mention distinction for the Garnet.
Rotival commented on earning two All-American distinctions at the meet: “It feels so surreal! It is one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had. The most special part is how much support I received from the rest of my teammates before, and after the fact.”
Karpenko also earned the Garnet great success that day in the 100-yard breaststroke. The junior tied for fifteenth in the preliminaries with a time of 54.92, qualifying for the finals. Recording a time of 54.99 that evening, Karpenko claimed fifteenth overall and his second All-American selection of the meet.
On the final day of the NCAA competition, Karpenko shone again. The junior finished eighth with a time of 1:58.37 in the 200-yard breaststroke preliminaries, setting a new program and conference record in the event. In the finals round, Karpenko secured eighth again with a recorded time of 2:00.72. He earned his third All-American distinction of the meet and the sixth of his career. Karpenko made history as only the third male swimmer in Swarthmore program history to earn a top-eight finish in the NCAA Championships.
Swarthmore swim’s incredible success at the NCAA Championships served as a fitting close to the Garnet’s remarkable season.
Rotival attributed the Garnet’s success to their unique team atmosphere. “I have never been part of such an incredible team with such amazing coaches, and I have no doubt that the reason behind our team’s success over the past few years has been due to the relationships that we have been able to form, in and out of the pool.”