MIDDLEBURY VT – The Williams College swim and dive team kicked off their championship season this weekend at the Middlebury Invite. The Ephs competed across three sessions and two days, with six purple cows finishing their season, and three Ephs finishing their careers.
The meet started on Friday afternoon, with the 200 IM as the first individual event. Laura Westphal '21 took the event, going a time of 2:08.75, over three seconds faster than her best in season time so far. Her freestyle split at the end was well over half a second faster than the competition, sealing her win. Close on her tail was Madeleine Deardorff '20, with her strong butterfly and breaststroke splits catapulting her ahead of the competition.
Later in the session was the 1000 freestyle, with the Ephs taking the top three spots. Abby Matheny '22 led the pack, touching in a best time of 10:32.08, taking off seven seconds from her previous best. Casey DeLano '21 charged into the finish a second behind Matheny, also touching in at a best time (10:33.65). She and Mathney were stroke for stroke for the middle of the race, with Matheny getting her at the end. Senior Victoria Chentsova '19 touched in third with a time of 10:54.02, swimming a very evenly split race with a strong front half.
Saturday morning kicked off with the 100 butterfly, a race that requires both strength and speed. Senior Bryanna Lee took home the win, going a fast time of 57.71, going half a second faster than in her 100 fly in the 400 medley relay earlier in the week. In second place was Madeleine Deardorff '20 was close behind, with a quick back half, going 58.06.
In the 200 freestyle, the purple cows took home the top four places, with Anna Peterson '22 getting her hand on the wall first. Her strong backhalf beat the field by almost a second, touching in a time of 1:58.46. Placing in second was Courtney Brown '21, also breaking the 2:00 barrier and going 1:59.17. Fighting for third was Ellie Sherman '20 and Victoria Chentsova '19, with Sherman ultimately outtouching Chentsova, the Ephwomen going 2:00.56 and 2:00.88, respectively.
The Ephs also shone in the 200 butterfly, with juniors Madeleine Deardorff '20 and Veronica Wolff '20 stealing the top two spots. Deardorff had a strong front half, complemented by Wolff's quick backhalf. Deardorff did not let her semester abroad in Prague stop her from racing and putting up a quick time of 2:06.08. Wolff, hot on her tail, closed a second faster and went a 2:06.66
Gabby Mercier held her own on the diving boards this weekend, completing full 11-dive lists on both the 1-meter and 3-meter. Her final scores were college bests, setting her up well for her long championship season.
Three seniors – Victoria Chentsova, Giuila Filocca, and Bryanna Lee – finished their seasons and careers at the Middlebury Invite. Chentsova ended with a best time in the 500 freestyle, Lee finished with a best time in the 50 fly, and Filocca rounded out her career with strong swims. Throughout their years as a part of the Williams swim and dive team, they have showed the team what it means to be an Eph, and helped the team tremendously throughout the years. They have shown us what it means to have Ephpride.
The Ephs continue their season at NESCAC's, starting on Thursday, February 14th with the 800 freestyle relay (only at night). The meet carries on the next three days, with the Ephs competing in prelims and finals throughout the weekend.