AMHERST, MA— Williams women's swimming and diving topped rival Amherst College 180-114 this afternoon at their last away meet of the regular season, bringing their record to 4-0. This is the team's ninth straight victory against Amherst, and brings their total record against Amherst to 36-4.
The Ephwomen arrived at Pratt Pool ready for battle, with determination that could be witnessed until the last hand touched the wall. Although Amherst provided a commendable fight, they were not able to compete against the depth of the Williams women this year.
Before the first event, the 200-yd medley relay, there was a palpable sense of excitement in the air. This atmosphere only intensified with the sound of the beep, at which both teams were quick to pounce from the blocks into the water. This relay was the beginning of the Ephwomen's success this afternoon, with their 'A' relay of Katherine Bennett '16, Breanna Nguyen '16, Emma Waddell '18, and Faye Sultan '16 touching first to a 1:45.71, beating out Amherst by half a second.
This momentum was carried into the first individual event, the 1000-yd freestyle. Megan Pierce '17 continued her distance freestyle dominance, touching first to an impressive 10:20.91. She was followed in second and third with two of her fellow Ephs, Alison McNamara '19 (10:37.78) and Kristina Barry '19 (10:46.24) respectively. This freestyle success continued into the sprint events (50 and 100-yd freestyles), both of which were won by Faye Sultan '16. Sultan touched to a blazing 24.60 in the 50, followed closely by Emma Waddell '18 at 24.66 in second, and Maia Hare at 24.93 in fourth.
The strength that was demonstrated by Williams in freestyle was equalled in the stroke events. In the 100-yd backstroke, Olivia Jackson '17 placed first with a season best of 57.51, followed closely by Katherine Bennett '16 (58.29) and Katherine Priest '18 (59.27) in second and fourth respectively.
The backstroke trio then took the 200 1-2-3, with Jackson again touching first at 2:03.52, and Bennett and Priest behind her at 2:05.21 and 2:05.85 respectively. Later in the meet, Emma Waddell '18 touched out Amherst's Sarah Conklin in the 100-yd butterfly, at a season best of 56.57. Maia Hare '19 touched closely after these two for third, at 58.11.
The 200-yd medley was the last individual event of the day, and the Ephs were fired up and ready to secure their victory. Megan Pierce '17 took another win, touching three seconds ahead of the competition at 2:07.29. Williams also grabbed second and third, by Emma Waddell '18 (2:10.65) and Olivia Jackson '17 (2:11.29) respectively.
On the spring boards, Ariana Ross '17 continued her NESCAC sweep, taking first place on both the 1-meter and 3-meter boards. Although Ross had already secured her spot at the NCAA regional competition, these wins contribute to her list of NESCAC victories and her outlook for the conference championships in February.
Eph Swimming and Diving head coach Steven Kuster commented that he was pleased with the team's overall performance today: "In general, we got the job done and did what we needed to do. I was pleased with the effort that was demonstrated and of course the outcome. I think that coming off of a later training trip showed a bit. There is still a lot we can work on, and doing so will be crucial to our continued success."
The Williams women leave their rival Amherst College with their undefeated record intact, ready to continue to put in the work necessary for it to remain so.
Next up for the Ephs is a tri-meet with Connecticut College and Wesleyan University on January 16 in Williams' Muir-Samuelson Pool. The meet will commence at 1:00 p.m.