New London, CT-- Opening up their conference schedule against the host Camels of Connecticut College, Williams women's swimming and diving came away with a well-deserved 205-82 victory. Executing well across all events, the win moves the women to 3-1 on the season, and they remain undefeated against Division III opponents.
Williams opened up strong beginning with the first individual event, as senior Katherine O'Leary swam away from the field to win the 1000 yd freestyle with a time of 10:41.74. O'Leary would finish nearly nine seconds ahead of her closest competitor, leading from start to finish in the race.
In the 200 yd breaststroke O'Leary once again came out on top, finishing first in 2:30.47, just ahead of second placed Esther Mehesz of Conn (2:30.95). Sophomore Molly Prindle (2:33.91) and senior Rebecca Maher (2:34.48) finished in third and fourth place respectively. Head Coach Steve Kuster was pleased with the inspiring performance by one of his seniors: "I think Kate set the tone early on for us and swam really well…definitely one of the stand-out performances of the meet." O'Leary would wrap up the meet in the grueling 400 yd Individual Medley, finishing second with a time of 4:33.46.
Classmate Caroline Wilson would take top honors in the 400, leading a Williams sweep alongside sophomore Sarah Thompson (3rd, 4:34.02). Wilson, the defending national champion in the event, finished in 4:31.75. Wilson would also win the 200 yd butterfly by a two second margin, touching the wall in 2:09.43. First year Maddy Holker also had an impressive swim, taking third place in the event (2:14.80) while sophomore Erica Bucki (2:18.37) and first year Anna Epstein (2:19.15) made it four Ephs out of the top five finishers.
In her third individual event Wilson took home a third victory, easily winning the 100 yd freestyle by over a second (52.38). Senior Bryn Dunbar placed fourth (54.59), just ahead of first year Breanna Nguyen (54.97).
Nguyen would capture an individual win of her own in the 200 yd freestyle, placing first with a time of 1:57.21. Senior Rebecca Maher was next into the wall in 2:00.11, holding off a late charge by Conn's Mehesz.
Williams' talented rookie class was on full display as first year Maddy Holker earned another win for the Ephs in the 100 yd butterfly (1:00.14). Junior Aly Levine took second in the event with a time of 1:00.83.
Rookie Katie Bennett took first place in the 100 yd backstroke (59.83), just ahead of classmate Angela Sun (1:00.92). Bennett would show her versatility across disciplines by taking second place in the 500 yd freestyle (5:17.22), a tough change from her earlier sprints.
Sweeping the backstroke events, sophomore Sarah Thompson outclassed the rest of the field in the 200 yd event, capturing first well ahead of the rest of the pack in 2:10.62. First year Faye Sultan took third place (2:15.28) while Sun was right behind in fourth (2:15.83). Thompson also swam well in the 50 yd freestyle, coming in second (24.87), a scant 12 hundredths of a second behind the leader. Sultan came in third in the event (25.13). Wrapping up the stroke events, Senior Liz Visconti led the way for Williams in the 100 yd breaststroke (1:09.36), ahead of junior Aly Levine in second place (1:12.31).
On the diving boards Williams had another successful outing. Junior McKenzie Murdoch posted a season high score of 301.65 on the 1m board, ahead of sophomore Michelle Higgins, who also had a season high score (289.95). In the 3m competition the positions were reversed, with Higgins capturing the top spot (266.48), with Murdoch close behind (256.42).
Coach Kuster was pleased with the result against a conference foe. "It's great to open up our conference schedule with a win. Conn is a great team, and I was generally happy with the way we swam. Obviously there is always room for improvement and we're looking forward to working out a few kinks as we move forward towards our winter training trip." Added assistant coach Nick Stone, "I think the squad did a great job swimming tired. They've been working really hard and it's great to see some of that hard work beginning to pay off."
Williams will now buckle down for a final week of preparation in Williamstown before heading to Florida for their annual training trip. Upon their return they will take on archrival Amherst in the home opener at Samuelson-Muir pool on January 5th.