Williams women triumph over rival Amherst College

Megan Pierce '17
Megan Pierce '17

Complete Results

Williamstown, MA— The Williams women's swim and dive team defeated Amherst College, 208.5 - 89.5 in a high energy meet this afternoon. This marks the tenth straight win over Amherst and the 37th in 41 meetings. The win upped the Ephs' winning streak to seven. 

The win over Amherst coupled with an earlier win over Wesleayn gives the Ephs their ninth consecutive Little Three title.

This afternoon was also special as it was the Ephs' final home meet of the season.Propelled by their passion for swimming and diving and driven by their devotion to the team, the eight seniors, Olivia Clark, Olivia Jackson, Lauren Jones, Nora Lee, Megan Pierce, Sofie Pietrantonio, Ariana Ross, and Isabella Salmi, were honored, per tradition,  during their last home meet of their Williams swimming and diving career. 

The meet started off strong, with first place wins across the board. The 200 medley relay was led by Williams A-relay of Olivia Jackson, first year Caroline White, junior Emma Waddell, and Lauren Jones. The Eph quartet won in a time of 1:45.96. Williams B, C, and D- relays came in third, fifth, and seventh respectively.

The Ephwomen proved their dominance in the distance events. In the 1000 yard freestyle, sophomore Alison McNamara led the way with a time of 10:33.54. Coming in third was junior Emma Sawkins, swimming her first 1000 of the season, at a quick 10:54.00. Sophomores Kristina Barry and Victoria Chentsova took fourth and sixth, coming in at 10:54.42 and 11:13.03, respectively. The distance swimmers carried this momentum to later in the meet during the 500 yard freestyle. Megan Pierce led the way at a time of 5:02.59, followed by McNamara at 5:08.78 and Lauren Jones at 5:11.43. Junior Anna Neufeld came in seventh with a time of 5:24.04.

The Ephwomen also excelled in the stroke events. First year Caroline White had an outstanding performance in the 100 yard breaststroke. White broke the pool record, previously held by Amherst alum Emily Hyde, finishing in first place with a time of 1:03.88. White also led in the 200 breaststroke, defeating the Amherst breaststrokers in a time of 2:19.89. Coming in fourth in the 100 breaststroke was Olivia Clark at 1:09.53, followed by sophomore Franny Dean at 1:10.20. The two also took fourth and fifth place in the 200 yard breaststroke, with Dean coming in at 2:29.70, and Clark clocking in at 2:30.10. 

The 100 fly proved to be another strong point for the Williams women, as Junior Emma Waddell led all swimmers with a time of 57.02. First year Veronica Wolff followed closely behind, finishing in second place with a time of 57.37. Junior Madeline Downs and sophomore Bryanna Lee claimed fourth and fifth places, with times of 59.05 ad 59.72. Competing in exhibition heats were sophomore Maia Hare, who clocked in at a speedy 58.69, sophomore Erin Kennedy at 1:00.53, first year Elinor Sherman at 1:01.00,  Nora Lee at 1:01.01, and Sofie Pietrantonio at 1:02.11.

On the diving boards, with their fellow swimmers cheering below,  the Ephwomen divers shone bright. While the presence of diver Molly Harrington was missed, Ariana Ross and first year Joyce Tseng dove with grace and precision. Ross placed first on both the 1m and the 3m boards, with final scores of 286.95 and 274.73. Tseng shone on the 1m, finishing in third place with a score of 202.95. She also finished a solid fourth on the 3m with a score of 166.20. 

The end of the meet proved to be both emotional and memorable for the Ephwomen seniors. The Williams A-relay of junior Madeline Downs, sophomore Erin Kennedy, first year Madeline Wessell, and junior Delaney Smith,  snuck into second place with a final time of 3:36.38, mere seconds behind the first place Amherst A-relay. 

Shining in the last event, the seniors organized themselves into two senior relays, the B-relay with Isabella Salmi, Olivia Jackson, Megan Pierce, and Lauren Jones, and the D-relay with Sofie Pietrantonio, Nora Lee, Olivia Clark, special swimming guest Ariana Ross, and sophomore Alison McNamara, and completed their last home meet event together.

The senior captains, Olivia Clark, Lauren Jones, and Ariana Ross, were pleased with the performance of the team. Captain Clark commented "It was awesome to be able to finish our racing at home against a team that we have historically had a huge rivalry with. I think it really embodied the spirit of the team and the program with all the alums being here and just being at a meet that has so many traditions and such great energy."  Ross added "It was really incredible to join my fellow seniors in the last relay after going through so much together. I am really inspired by this group and what we did today. It was great seeing my diving teammates try new stuff today. We put together really solid lists.I couldn't be more proud to have my last home meet be this meet. "

The Ephwomen will continue competing at away meets the rest of this season. The Ephs' next destination being Connecticut College on Saturday, January 14th at 1:00pm.