MIDDLETOWN, CT -- Williams women's swim and dive competed in their final meet of the 2016 calendar year, this time participating in a four team meet hosted by Wesleyan University. With exceptional performances across the board, this meet marked the first time that the Eph women faced two of their fellow NESCAC members, Tufts University, and Wesleyan University, this year.
Upping their winning streak to six wins and no losses, the Eph women defeated Wesleyan 235 to 78, Tufts 220 to 98, and Worcester Polytech Institute 241 to 80.
Wesleyan University's natatorium was filled with fast energy as swimmers and divers from all four teams attempted to out perform each other in the pool. The first event of the day was the 50- yard breaststroke. Unlike the lineup of events at meets early in the season, the 50-yard breast stroke in addition to the 50-yard freestyle, butterfly, and backstroke were featured in this particular competition. Leading the way in the breaststroke was first year Caroline White at 30.36, clocking in over a second ahead of second place Zoe Kerrich of Wesleyan. Senior Olivia Clark came shortly behind, finishing fifth with a time of 32.10.
This was followed by the 50 butterfly, where another Williams first year, Veronica Wolff claimed a win, finishing at a quick 26.40. Wolff also led the way in the 100 butterfly later in the meet, finishing over two seconds ahead of the next person at 57.36. Williams junior Madeline Downs claimed third place in the 50 butterfly with a time of 27.04, followed by sophomore Bryanna Lee at 27.34 for fourth place. Coming in 9th and 12th, respectively, were seniors Nora Lee, at 27.84, and Sofie Pietrantonio at 28.11, followed by a 28.70 by first year Ellie Sherman, in her first meet of the season.
The 50 backstroke and 50 freestyle also proved to be strong events for Williams, as first year Caroline Conforti and junior Emma Waddell took victories in each event respectively. Conforti placed at first with a time of 26.99, followed by first year Madeline Wessel at 27.57. Also competing in the event was sophomore Bryanna Lee, finishing 12th with a 29.73. Waddell in the 50 freestyle finished at 24.23. Sophomore Maia Hare, in her first meet of the season, came in closely behind at second place with a time of 25.01. Shortly after junior Delaney Smith claimed third at 25.10. Sophomore Alison McNamara came in 11th at 26.12.
Meanwhile on the diving boards, the Eph women were demonstrating their mastery of new dives. Both junior Molly Harrington and Senior Ariana Ross added two new dives to their repertoire for the 1m. Ross finished at first place with a score of 269.50. Harrington finished with a final score of 191.15 in eighth place out of eleven. On the 3m diving board, the Ephs performed just as well if not better. Ross finished first again, with a score of 263.90, while Harrington finished in fifth place with a score of 204.30.
The 50-yard sprint events at the beginning of the meet were an exciting start to the day, as were the 200-yard events an exciting way to end the meet with some tougher competition. The 200 free proved to be another three tier victory for Williams. Leading the way was junior Emma Waddell, for her second first place finish of the day, coming in with a time of 1:53.88. Sophomore Alison McNamara came in second at 1:57.63. Junior Madeline Downs left little space between herself and McNamara, and finished third with a time of 1:57.86. Also competing in the event were sophomore Victoria Chentsova, senior Olivia Clark, and junior Delaney Smith.
In the 200 back, first year Veronica Wolff led the way followed by first year Madeline Wessell. coming in at 2:08.08 and 2:08.64, respectively. Senior Lauren Jones came in a solid third at a time of 2:09.23, leaving two seconds between herself and the next competitor.
The 200 breaststroke and the 200 butterfly provided some tougher competition, but the Eph women still managed to finish strong. In the 200 breast stroke, Tufts lead the way, followed by senior Megan Pierce finishing at a second place with the time 2:26.51. First year Caroline Conforti finished shortly after to get third place at 2:33.70. In the 200 butterfly, Tufts lead the way yet again, less than a second ahead of junior Emma Waddell who finished second at 2:10.18. Also competing in the 200 butterfly was senior Nora Lee, who came in ninth at 2:24.25.
The Eph women finished on a high note with a victory in the final and only relay event of the meet, the 400 meter freestyle relay. Finishing first was Williams A relay of senior Lauren Jones, first year Madeline Wessell, and juniors Delaney Smith and Emma Waddell, with a total time of 3:36.30. The Williams B relay finished fourth, followed by the Williams C relay at sixth and D relay at twelfth.
A meet this early in the season with such a large number of competitors proved to provide a new dynamic. Eph head coach Steven Kuster commented on the difference of a meet with as many teams as were present at Wesleyan, "The women did a nice job today and continued to race well all around. The meet format (no limit to number of entrants in any event) created multiple heats in each event and set up some really competitive heats throughout the meet. The addition of flat start 50s of stroke gave the team a chance to work on some flat out speed."
The Eph women will resume competing in January, starting at 1:00pm on the 7th at the Samuelson-Muir Pool against Amherst College.