SCHENECTADY, NY - In their second meet of the season, the Williams women's swim team brushed off their fatigue from last night's competition and charged into today's meet against the Union College Dutchwomen. Williams won the meet with a final score of 200-93, setting their season record to 2-0 and dropping Union's to 1-2.
Overall, the Ephwomen were able to seize their victory smoothly and without a hitch, but the meet was not without competition. Pushed continuously by their opponents and by each other, the team posted excellent times all around, in both individual and relay events. As usual, the Ephs began the meet with a bang, clinching a 1-2-3 sweep of the opening 200-yd medley relay. The winning combination of Katie Bennett '16, Molly Prindle '15, Sofie Pietrnatonio '17, and Emma Waddell '18 ultimately touched in first, but were followed tightly by the two accompanying Williams relays.
From this rapid and rousing beginning, the meet moved into the slightly more endurance-oriented 1,000-yd freestyle. With only four swimmers entered in the event, the race was indeed an intimate one, but Williams swimmers Megan Pierce '17 and Erica Bucki '15 were able to capture first and third places respectively. The Ephwomen continued to perform up to their own high standards in the freestyle events, with captain Sarah Thompson '15 cruising to first place in the 200-yd freestyle, her time of 1:56.86 three seconds in front of her closest competitor. The event also saw strong swims from several teammates, with Erica Myers '17 and Katie Priest '18 finishing third and fourth respectively.
The Ephwomen once again demonstrated their team-wide ability to swim a wide range of events, with swimmers excelling in events they normally do not train for. Katie Bennett '16 traded in her traditional backstroke events for a try at the 100-yd breaststroke, in which she placed third with a very respectable time of 1:13.31. Junior Maddy Holker, a consummate butterflier who has been trying out various other events, swam to success in the 200-yd breaststroke, placing third to teammates Breanna Nguyen '16 (2:30.53) and Olivia Clark '17 (2:36.29). Coach Stone noted: "Swimming a mixed up line up, we got to see some swims that we do not normally get to see, and it showed our versatility in some areas. It also showed a balanced team that will be capable of awesome swims at the end of the season."
Other strong events throughout the meet included the 500-yd freestyle, in which the trio of Thompson '15, Emma Sawkins '18, and Olivia Jackson '17 placed first through third respectively, proving Williams' talent for producing distance swimmers out of even those who least expected it. On the other end of the distance spectrum, the Ephwomen faced unsuspected competition from the Dutchwomen in the 50-yd freestyle. While Nguyen '16 managed to touch in at first, with a time of 25.44, she was quickly followed by three Union swimmers in places second-fourth. Undeterred by this show of sprinting strength, Williams went on to sweep the 200-yd backstroke, thanks to a strong showing by Bennett '16, Priest '18, and Lauren Jones '17.
In the 400-yd individual medley, an event not always offered at in-season dual meets, the Ephwomen entered a talented group of four, all of whom out-performed the competition. Pierce '17, the 2014 NCAA Division III champion in the event, took first by an impressive margin and with the impressive time to go with it (4:28.90). Rounding out the event were teammates Paige Haller '17, Prindle '15, and Bucki '15.
Ending the meet on the same fast-twitch page it began on, the Ephwomen plunged into the always-exciting 200-yd freestyle relay. Unwary of Union's previously demonstrated sprinting ability, the fearsome foursome of Thompson '15, Jones '17, Nguyen '16 and Waddell '18 sped by Union to finish first with a time of 1:40.93. While the Dutchwomen scored second place, Williams relays finished in third, fifth, and sixth places to round out the event.
The meet ended on an excellent note for the Ephs - as Coach Stone commented, "The team showed they are able to compete well two days in a row. This speaks well for future meets where we will be swimming multiple days in a row." After traveling home to Williamstown through hail and sleet, the team looks forward to a day of rest before returning to training on Monday morning. Their next meet will take place after the Thanksgiving break, at home on December 6th, 1 PM EST.