Williams defeats Wesleyan and Connecticut College

Emma Waddell '18
Emma Waddell '18

WILLIAMSTOWN, MA—Williams women's swimming and diving came off a week of hard training this afternoon to defeat both Wesleyan University (233-60) and Connecticut College (198-80) in their only tri-meet of the season. While both teams put up a formidable fight, the Ephwomen were prepared to get the job done.This win carries their undefeated record to 6-0 going into their final two meets of the regular season.

The Ephwomen certainly were tired from a long week of training, but they were determined from the start to not let this show in their races, demonstrating the same drive and excitement that they have become well known for. In the first event of the day, the 200-yd medley relay, the Williams 'A' relay took first with a time of 1:47.84. Katherine Bennett '16 set the team off to a quick start in the backstroke leg at 27.27, followed by Breanna Nguyen '16 (30.96), Maia Hare '19 (25.38), and anchor Emma Waddell '18 at 24.23. Williams also took fourth, fifth, and sixth overall, falling only to Connecticut College's top two relay teams. This race certainly left the Ephs excited, but hungry for more going into the individual events.

The first individual event of the afternoon was the 1650-yd freestyle, in which Williams took second and fourth. Emma Sawkins '18 touched second behind a Connecticut swimmer at 17:59.34 for her distance debut this season. Victoria Chentsova '19 finished fourth at 18:30.52. Despite the distance, the Ephs continued to keep the energy in the natatorium high. In the 500-yd freestyle, Williams women grabbed 1-2-3, with Katherine Bennett '16 pulling ahead in the first heat to take first at 5:11.55. Katherine Priest '18 took second overall at 5:11.69, followed closely by Alison McNamara '19 at 5:12.55. This freestyle dominance was demonstrated again in the 100-yd race, with Williams taking first and second. Emma Waddell '18 hit the wall first at 52.78, followed closely by Faye Sultan '16 at 53.05.

The success of the Ephwomen freestylers was equalled in several of the stroke events. Faye Sultan '16 stole the show in the 100-yd backstroke, coming in first by a second and half at 58.66, followed by Lauren Jones '17 in second (1:00.10) and Maia Hare '19 in fourth (1:02.19). In the 200-yd butterfly, Williams women took 1-2-3-4, with Emma Waddell '18 taking first at 2:11.44. Touching behind her was Maddie Downs '18 at 2:12.64, and Maddy Holker '16 (2:14.43) and Erin Kennedy '19 (2:15.92) in third and fourth respectively.

Throughout the afternoon, Ariana Ross '17 represented the Ephs on the diving boards, taking first in both the 1-meter and 3-meter competitions. This performance continues her undefeated streak against fellow NESCAC divers this season.

The meet concluded with the 200-yd freestyle relay, led by the Williams 'A' relay at 1:37.75. Emma Waddell '18 again brought her team to the wall first with a speedy leg of 24.10. Additionally, the Ephs' 'B' and 'C' teams were able to take third and sixth respectively.

Overall, the Williams women bounced back from a rigorous week of training ready to compete, setting themselves up for further improvement in their last two meets of the season. Head coach Steven Kuster commented on the afternoon of success: "We definitely raced with more energy than last weekend. There was some noticeable fatigue following training trip and a few hard weeks back on campus, but there was some good examples of racing hard this afternoon. I'm excited for us to take what we did here today and make improvements next weekend."

The Ephs begin their double meet weekend this Friday against MIT at 4:00 PM in Williamstown at the Samuelson-Muir pool.