WILLIAMSTOWN, MA— Williams women's swim and dive had tough competition against Division 1 Boston College. With excellent performances across the board the Eph women have managed to keep their victory record at three wins. At a score of 117, the Boston College Eagles, coming off a rest meet and ready to race, were edged out by the Eph women who scored at 183. Spirits were high as the Williams Ephs claimed first places in all events but one.
Up first was the 200 medley relay. The natatorium filled with cheers from competitors and observers alike, as the Eph women approached the blocks with their suited-up competition. Claiming the first victory of the day was William's A relay, of senior Olivia Jackson, first year Caroline White, junior Emma Waddell, and senior Lauren Jones, but it did not come easy. At the first 50 yards of the backstroke leg, Boston College seemed to have the upper hand. At the breaststroke leg, White's performance proved to be defining for the A-relay, as she broke away from the crowd and gave the A-relay a tight lead. Waddell carried on the momentum set up by the first two swimmers and passed the lead to Jones who anchored the winning relay. The Williams B, C, and D relays finished in fourth, only a tenth of a second behind the third place Boston College B-relay, sixth, and eight, respectively.
Not all events looked as comfortable as the 200 medley relay, enabling the Eph women to get up and push very close races. One such event was the 200 freestyle. Senior Lauren Jones, with an incredible last 50 split of 27.81 and a final time 1:53.01, managed to close the gap in the final 50 and defeat sophomore Erika Freeman of Boston College, who timed in at 1:53.11. Coming in close at third was first year Madeline Wessell at 1:54.22. Junior Anna Neufeld and senior Isabella Salmi finished at 1:59.38 for sixth place and 2:05.24 at eighth place, both dropping seconds from earlier in-season times.
Dominating the breaststroke events was first year Caroline White, who not only had the fastest 50 breaststroke split in the 200 medley relay, but also brought Williams victories in the 100 breaststroke and the 200 breaststroke. In the 100 breaststroke, White came in with a final time of 1:04.68. Also in the event were seniors Olivia Clark and Nora Lee, and sophomore Franny Dean at 1:09.76, 1:13.72, and 1:10.56 respectively. In the 200 breaststroke, White led the way again with a time of 2:20.89. Clark and Dean joined her in the event to finish fourth at 2:29.73, and seventh at 2:31.22. First year Madeline Deardorff also competed in the 200 breaststroke, and finished with a time of 2:33.96.
The meet ended with yet another victory for the Eph women. In the 400 freestyle relay, the Williams A relay led the way from the start with junior Emma Waddell, who split a 52.50. She was followed by first year Madeline Wessell at 53.21, then senior Megan Pierce at 53.90, and finally senior Lauren Jones at 52.04. The Williams B relay of sophomores Dana Chung and Alison McNamara and juniors Anna Neufield and Madeline Downs finished a solid fourth at 3:41.01, only two seconds behind third place. The C relay finished fifth at 3:43.79 and the D relay out-touched Boston College's D relay to get seventh at 3:52.62.
In the diving events, senior and captain Ariana Ross once again outshone the competition. Ross finished first in both the 1M and the 3M diving boards with total scores of 290.4 and 291.52. Junior Molly Harrington added new dives to her routine and finished fifth on the 1M and fifth on the 3M. First year Joyce Tseng, in her first meet against a D1 college ever, managed to finished with a score of 174.22 at sixth place on the 1M.
The Eph women radiated excitement and determination throughout the meet. Assistant Coach Brogan Barr commented on the Women's effort to compete with such tough competition after a full week of practices and school. "Energy and enthusiasm were high today in front of a home crowd and in a familiar setting. We were confident in the training we have been doing in this pool, and were able to execute some very good swims. As a coaching staff, we were impressed with the grit the team as a whole showed after a challenging week of practices and academics. We saw swimmers across the board embracing a good race and doing their best to get their hand on the wall first."
Williams women's swim and dive will be competing next week against Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Tufts University, and Wesleyan University at the Freeman Athletic Center of Wesleyan University on Saturday, December 10th at 1:00pm.