NEW LONDON, CT – The Williams College Ephs hit the road for a dual meet at NESCAC foe Connecticut College. Despite a slow start to the meet, the Ephs topped the Camels 162-100.
The Ephs swam their first 1650-yard freestyle of the season, maintaining their dominance of distance events in the NESCAC. Returning NCAA champion Laura Westphal '21 led the field from the start, and finished in a strong time of 17:27.66, 16 seconds ahead of the competition. In second was Katie Orringer '21, swimming an incredible evenly split race, getting her hand on the wall in a time of 17:43.75. Classmate Courtney Brown '21 finished third in the mile, clocking in at 18:26.85. The Ephs get just three opportunities to swim the mile before their championship season and sported a good showing on their first try.
The 200 backstroke continued to be another strong event for the Ephs, with the purple cows placing 1-2-3. Sophomore Gwyneth Maloy '21 topped freshmen Abby Matheny '22, outsplitting the freshman in the final 50 of the reace. Maloy's time was only 0.43 seconds off her time at NCAAs last year, showing her promise as a backstroker for the Ephs. Matheny has proved her strength as one of the top backstrokers for Williams, going under 2:06 for the third meet in a row in this event. Third to the wall was sophomore Molly Craig '21, just hitting under her previous in-season best time by 2:08.40.
The 500 freestyle was another top event, led by freshman Kerryan Reynolds '22. After a slower front-half, Reynolds swam a quick back half that helped her secure her win and an in season best time by four seconds (5:10.99). Following Reynolds was Erin Kennedy '19, sprinting her last 100 yards to a victory over the competition, closing in 5:15.70.
Following the 500 freestyle was the 100 butterfly, where the Ephs snagged spots, 1, 2, 4, and 5. Senior Maia Hare blazed the way with her underwaters, outsplitting the competition in her first 50 by 1.2 seconds, and winning the event by one second, going 57.70. Laura Westphal '21 continued the success by swimming a time of 59.73, with Gabby Granata '22 and Rollie Grinder '21 finishing up the heat (1:00.26 and 1:00.46, respectively).
For the second time this season, the Ephs competed in the 400 Individual Medley. The Ephs captured the top four places in an exciting race to the finish. First to touch was junior Veronica Wolff '20, who swam the fastest butterfly and breaststroke splits in the field, resulting in a quick time of 4:34.57. Next was Abby Matheny '22 at 4:37.93, and close behind was Elinor Sherman '20 and Katie Orringer '21, going 4:40.93 and 4:42.83, respectively.
On the competition today, head coach Steve Kuster stated, "The Conn women came to race and started the meet off very strong, which seemed to have caught us by surprise a bit. After the 100 free we were behind on the scoreboard. A couple of line-up changes and a strong second half of the meet secured the victory and the women's 92nd straight NCAA DIII victory. I hope the meet serves as a reminder to the team that we need to bring our A game all the time. Next week will be a particularly challenging meet, so I hope the women will be ready to battle from the opening event."
The Ephs continue their meets on the road next weekend, competing against Massachusetts Institute of Technology and New York University at MIT on Friday, January 18 at 2 PM.