WILLIAMSTOWN, MA-Williams women's swimming and diving defeated Union College this afternoon (232-52) at their home pool, bringing their record to 2-0. The competition served as a perfect capstone for a long week of training and a double meet weekend, but anyone who has followed the Eph women in the past know that this is just the beginning.
As can be expected, the Williams women started the meet off with a surge of energy, claiming 1-2-3 in the 200-yd medley relay. The "A" team of Caroline Conforti '20, Caroline White '20, Erin Kennedy '19, and Delaney Smith '18 finished first by an impressive three seconds, with Smith touching the wall at 1:50.35. The women held strong to their relay dominance throughout the meet, and concluded the afternoon with another 1-2-3 finish in the 400-yd freestyle relay with a winning time of 3:41.80 by the team of Emma Waddell '18, Delaney Smith '18, Erin Kennedy '19, and Laura Westphal '21.
The individual events began with the 1000-yd freestyle, in which Gwyneth Maloy '21 finished with a 10 second lead with a time of 10:40.60. She was followed by classmate Katie Orringer '21, who touched second at 10:50.55. Laura Westphal '21 and Alison McNamara continued to show off the team's endurance in the 500-yd freestyle, in which they claimed first (5:13.20) and second (5:15.35) respectively. In a typical move, McNamara negative split the event, with 250-yd splits of 2:38.20 and 2:37.15.
As has come to be expected of the Williams women, there were several notable performances in the stroke events. Both Katie Priest '18 and Caroline White '20 swept the 100-yd and 200-yd races in their primary strokes; backstroke and breaststroke respectively. Priest touched at 59.46 in the 100 and 2:06.38 in the 200, in which Caroline Conforti also gave a strong showing for second place at 2:10.75. In the 100-yd breastroke, White finished with over a four second lead at 1:06.41. The 200-yd race was relatively closer; White again claimed first (2:25.24), but was followed by Franny Dean '19 (2:30.43) for second. In the 200-yd butterfly, the Ephs swept first through fourth, with Veronica Wolff '20 ultimately touching first at 2:06.53. Maddie Deardorff finished closely behind at 2:08.44, followed by Maddie Downs '18 (2:12.52) in third, and Ellie Sherman '20 (2:16.18) in fourth.
On the diving boards, Gabby Mercier '21 and Molly Harrington '18 were left to compete against each other, as the Dutchwomen have no divers. Mercier took first on the 1-meter and 3-meter, and qualified for the New England Regional competition in March. In order to qualify for the meet, a diver needs to earn a qualifying score at two meets, and Mercier expressed her excitement of getting the qualification so early on: "It's extremely rewarding having qualified so quickly. All the hard work I've been putting in the last few weeks is really starting to pay off, and I'm excited to see where the next few months take me." Harrington also earned her best scores on both boards for this early in the season, and was working with her most difficult list of dives.
The Eph women are certainly looking forward to some time at home to celebrate the holidays, but the next few weeks will be far from a break. When asked about the team's performance thus far head coach Steven Kuster commented, " It was good to get a first look at the team competing. We had people in a combination of some good events and some off events this weekend. Certainly there were some things to feel good about, but also plenty to work on. I look forward to seeing this group get pushed more in the future." The team will take the next weekend off from competing, and return to face one of the more challenging match-ups of their season in an away meet against Boston College December 2, 2017 at 1 PM EST.