Ephwomen defeat Middlebury College Panthers in final dual meet of the season

Ephwomen defeat Middlebury College Panthers in final dual meet of the season

MIDDLEBURY, VT—Williams women's swimming and diving completed their undefeated dual-meet season this afternoon, winning 183-111 against the Middlebury Panthers. This victory leaves the teams' in season record at 9-0.

The Ephs have won their last 56 NCAA  DIII meets in row. Their last loss came on 1/12/08 to Amherst at home 152.5 – 147.5.

In addition the Ephs have won last five meets vs. NCAA DI teams and they last lost to a DI team on 12/01/12 when Fordham defeated Williams 166-128 in Williamstown.

The event lineup consisted of more sprint races than the typical dual-meet, which gave the Ephs the opportunity to try out some 50's before championship season begins next week.

The Williams women began and ended the afternoon with relay victories in the 400-yd medley and the 200-yd freestyle. The Williams A-team of Caroline Conforti '20, Megan Pierce '17, Emma Waddell '18, and Lauren Jones '17 with a time of 3:56.29 led the medley; three seconds faster than the Middlebury team in second. The 200-yd freestyle was a bit closer; the Williams A-team of Dana Chung '19, Delaney Smith '18, Madeline Wessel '20, and Olivia Jackson '17 just out-touched the Panthers by .08 seconds to touch the wall first at 1:39.08.

The individual races began with the 1000-yd freestyle, in which Caroline White '20 proved she is a competitor in more than just the breaststroke events, taking first at 10:28.59. She was followed by fellow teammate Olivia Jackson '17 in second (10:49.73). The distance success carried into the 500-yd freestyle as well, with the Ephwomen grabbing 1-2-4-5. Lauren Jones '17 led the pack at 5:05.70, followed by Caroline White '20 (5:09.28), Emma Sawkins '18 (5:18.48), and Kristina Barry '19 (5:20.49) respectively.

While it is well known that the Ephs are talented in mid-distance stroke races, this afternoon provided the women the chance to prove their sprint abilities equally impressive. In the 50-yd backstroke, Williams took first through fourth, led by Caroline Conforti '20 (27.06). She was trailed by Veronica Wolff '20 (28.04), Lauren Jones '17 (28.45), and Maia Hare '19 (28.82) in second through fourth, respectively. Williams also touched first in the 50-yd butterfly, with an impressive performance by Emma Waddell '18 at 25.81. Maia Hare '19 did not touch far behind at 26.42. Waddell turned it around quickly to claim another victory in the 100-yd individual medley, coming close to breaking the pool record at 59.17. The Ephwomen also took second and third, with Megan Pierce '17 and Lauren Jones '17 at 1:00.70 and 1:02.23 respectively.

Ariana Ross '17 once again dominated in the diving well, winning both the 1-meter and 3-meter boards. Most notable was her 1-meter score of 300.75 points, almost 45 points higher than the second place diver from Middlebury.

This afternoon was the final competition before the Williams women begin their championship season next weekend. When asked for her thoughts on the women's performance, assistance coach Brogan Barr focused on the teams' commitment to racing: "Swimming different events at Middlebury today gave people an opportunity to just have fun with it, and give their best effort. The coaching staff was generally pleased to see team members embracing races in different events. Dual meets may be done for the season, but we're planning on going back to work on Monday, fine-tuning some technical details and finishing out Winter Study training."

The first championship meet for the Ephs is the Middlebury Invitational, which will begin at the Middlebury Natatorium Friday, January 27 at 5–EST, and will continue throughout the day on Saturday. The Ephs will need to carry in the energy and power that they have demonstrated throughout to season to prove that they are a force to be reckoned with on the NESCAC and NCAA stages.

The Eph Class of 2017 claimed their 26th consecutive win, has won four straight Little Three titles and three consecutive NESCAC Championships. Further, they have posted three straight top five finishes at the NCAA Championships:

2016 – 3rd

2015 – 3rd

2014 – 5th