WILLIASMTOWN, MA—The Williams women's swimming and diving team defeated Massachusetts Institute of Technology (207-93) and New York University (214-85) this afternoon in a tri-meet at their home pool, bringing their record to 9-1. Heading into the meet NYU was ranked 6th nationally, MIT was ranked 7th, while the Ephs were ranked 10th by collegeswimming.com.
Coming off a third week of difficult Winter Study training, the Eph women were challenged to stay tough mentally and physically. Their fighting spirit proved successful, and led to a number of notable performances.
Competition began with the 400-yd medley relay, which the Ephs have not raced since their first meet against Springfield College in November. The extra months of practice did them well; their "A" team of Katherine Priest '18, Caroline White '20, Emma Waddell '18, and Laura Westphal '21 took first place with a time of 3:51.73, lowering their seedtime by over four seconds. The other Eph teams claimed second and fifth.
The first individual event of the afternoon was the 1650-yd freestyle, in which Gwyneth Maloy '21 and Alison McNamara '19 touched first and second, with times of 17:24.96 and 17:29.55 respectively. Both women's times are under the NCAA B cut standard. This momentum carried seamlessly into the 200-yd freestyle, led by Laura Westphal '21 at a time of 1:53.68. Casey Delano '21 followed Westphal for second at 1:55.00, and Courtney Brown '21 for fourth at 1:57.26. The distance success continued into the later half of the meet, with Molly Craig '21 (5:07.63) and Alison McNamara '19 (5:11.18) touching 1-2 in the 500-yd freestyle.
The Eph women's success was not limited to the freestyle events, however. Caroline White '20 again clinched first in the 100-yd and 200-yd breaststroke's, with respective times of 1:04.41 and 2:19.01. Additionally, in the 100-yd butterfly, the Ephs took 1-3-4. Emma Waddell '18 touched first at 56.60, followed by Maddie Downs '18 at 58.73 for third and Veronica Wolff '20 at 58.82. Williams backstrokers were in full form as well, with Katherine Priest '18 Gwyneth Maloy '21 and Caroline Conforti '20 touching first second and fourth with respective times of 2:05.93, 2:06.88, and 2:08.40.
Once again, the Eph women were well represented in the diving well by Gabby Mercier '21 and Molly Harrington '18. Notably, Mercier nailed a new dive on the 3-meter board to lock in a second place finish.
The 400-yd individual medley marked the final individual race of the afternoon. The Ephs closed it out with a 1-2-3 finish by Molly Craig '21 (4:30.98), Caroline White '20 (4:34.70), and Veronica Wolff (4:36.47). Finally, in the 200-yd freestyle relay, the Williams "A" team of Gwyneth Maloy '21, Laura Westphal '21, Delaney Smith '18, and Emma Waddell '18 out -touched MIT by half a second with a time of 1:37.56.
The Ephwomen fearlessly faced the challenge of two top notch Division III teams with great success. Regarding their performance, Eph head coach Steven Kuster commented that the win was hard fought and well deserved: "I saw a lot of good progress today. In particular, I'm proud of the girls that really battled it out to overcome the various challenges they were facing. Of course, there is room for us to improve as we move into next weekend and the championship season. We will have to continue making progress every day to get the job done."
The Ephs are set to compete against Middlebury College and Hamilton College next Saturday afternoon in their final meet of the regular season at the Samuelson-Muir Pool. Competition will begin at 1 pm EST.