WILLIAMSTOWN, MA – With Thanksgiving break only a distant memory, the Williams women's swim team tore into today's meet against the Boston College Eagles with a ferocity unaffected by the long week of training behind them, or the grueling week of finals before them. The Ephwomen defeated their Division I opponent with a final score of 221-77, setting their record to 3-0 and dropping Boston College's to 4-3. It was a convincing point upon which to build a season that has been consistently victorious, and as the team prepares for the upcoming winter weeks of schoolwork and training, they may look back on this win and smile. As Coach Stone noted following the meet, "the team swam a very good meet this afternoon. They kept the momentum going from our previous two meets and performed well. Swimming against a Division I school is always fun and provides different challenges - the women rose to the challenge as a team and accomplished a victory."
Filled with the excitement inherent in any home meet, the Ephwomen took the blocks for the 200-medley relay with palpable intensity. This intensity was not misplaced, and in what proved to be a close race, the Williams relay team of Katie Bennett '16, Breanna Nguyen '16, Emma Waddell '18 and Sarah Thompson '15 charged to first place with an impressive in-season time of 1:47.46. The real fight emerged between the top Eagles' relay and the second Williams relay of Olivia Jackson '17, Molly Prindle '15, Anna Epstein '16, and Delaney Smith '18 – the Ephwomen were just out-touched, swimming to third with a time of 1:51.62 behind the Eagles' 1:51.30.
Breaking into the distance events, Williams once more showed their depth by sweeping the 1,000-yd freestyle. Senior and Captain Thompson '15 cruised to first, with teammates Emma Sawkins '18 and Olivia Clark '17 powering through those endless 40 laps to place second and third respectively. Up next in the opening freestyle events came the 200-yd freestyle, in which Lauren Jones '17 touched in first with a time of 1:55.42, joined by teammate Madeline Downs '18 in third with a time of 1:58.94.
Williams also demonstrated their ever-burgeoning depth in all things backstroke, with impressive sweeps in both the 100-yd and 200-yd distances. Starting with the 100, Ephwomen Bennett '16, Jackson '17, Katie Priest '18 and Erica Myers '17 took first through fourth places, out-swimming their Division I competition by a landslide. Later on in the 200-yd event, Bennett '16 and Priest '18 were joined by teammate Tess Vorselen '15 and placed first, second and third respectively.
The Williams butterfly legacy was evident as ever in today's meet, and Megan Pierce '17 led the charge with a win in the 200-yd butterfly and a time of 2:06.99. Close behind her was teammate Sofie Pietrantonio '17 with a time of 2:11.00, and Paige Haller '16 in fifth with a 2:16.13. In the 100, Waddell '18 blew away the competition with a time of 57.25. The race also featured an exciting tie for third place between teammates Nora Lee '17 and Downs '18.
The breaststrokers amongst the Ephwomen also had their time to shine, although the Eagles consistently pushed them to fight harder than ever with every pull. In the 100-yd event, Nguyen '16 took first, with teammate Prindle '15 just edged out for second by a Boston College opponent. In the 200, Pierce '17 took a break from butterfly to demonstrate her equally impressive strength in the breaststroke, placing first with a time of 2:25.46. Clark '17 and Prindle '15 had a tight race, placing fourth and fifth respectively.
The 400-yd freestyle relay, as the final event of the meet, was the perfect opportunity for the team to demonstrate exactly how much fire they had left. Hot off the blocks was the winning combination of Jones '17, Nguyen '16, Waddell '18 and Thompson '15, who charged to first place with a time of 3:36.03. The team of Downs '18, Smith '18, Priest '18 and Vorselen '15 also swam to a triumphant third place, closing the meet on exactly the right note. Coach Stone reflected, "today's performance was a great way to end the semester and carry momentum into the second half of the season."
After the excitement of today, the Ephwomen look forward to pushing through finals week and making it to their annual training trip, which will take place December 16-23 in Boca Raton, FL. Following the Christmas break, their next competition will be against infamous rival Amherst College, at the Samuelson-Muir Pool on January 10th, 1 PM EST.