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Tuesday, Feb 20, 2024

Ephs Sink Men and Women Swimmers

Author: SHannon Egan

Last weekend the swimmers and divers took on both Union and Dartmouth colleges in an exciting pair of home meets. Both teams powered through and defeated Union, but Middlebury fell to Dartmouth on Sunday.

Against Union, the women dominated the meet, ending in a score of 219-78. The meet got off to a great start when Middlebury took first through third places in the 200-yard medley relay, the first event. The team of Lizzy Dewitt '04, Kelly Quinn '05, Mandy Smeal '02 and Lauren King '05 took first in a time of 1:53.90. The others were not far behind.

Perhaps the most exciting swim of the meet was the 1650-yard freestyle, where Kellianne Egan '04 and Sarah Groff '04 took first and second, with NCAA "B" qualifying times of 17:50.42 and 17:53.67, respectively. Egan, Dewitt and Smeal each had two wins. Egan's second win was in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 5:18.68. Smeal also took first in the 100-yard fly with a time of 1:00.96 as well as the 50-yard fly, with a time of 27.76. Dewitt was first in the 200-yard freestyle (1:58.68) and the 100-yard freestyle (54.67).

The men's team saw incredible performances as well, including three pool records and NCAA qualifying standards. The team also dominated Union, finishing with a score of 182-116. The Panthers were led by Scott Strickler '02, who had three individual wins. He took the 50-yard backstroke in 25.60, the 100-yard backstroke in 54.09 and the 100-yard medley in a pool record of 55.26.

Also helping the Panthers with two wins each were Grayson Stuntz '02 and Mike Malloy '02. Stuntz took the 100-yard fly and 50-yard fly with times of 53.01 and 23.89, respectively. His time in the 50-yard fly was also a new pool record. Malloy's pair of wins were in the 50 and 100-yard breaststroke with times of 28.93 and 103.12. For the divers, senior captain Derek Chicarilli took first on both the one and three-meter boards. Both he and Blake Lyons '05 qualified for NCAAs on the one-meter board.

On Sunday, the Panthers fell to Dartmouth with scores of 126-114 for the women and 124-106 for the men. While swimming and diving against a Division I team is quite challenging, the team handled the pressure well and saw strong performances all around.

On the women's side, the sole double winner was first-year Leigh Taylor, who took the 200-yard breaststroke in 2:32.22 and the 500-yard freestyle in 5:13.10. Also notable was first-year Kate Miller's first NCAA "B" cut, which was in the 400-yard medley. She took second in a time of 4:42.93.

The men were once again led by Chicarilli, who took first in the one and three-meter diving events. He earned an NCAA qualifying standard on both boards, and first-year Lyons repeated him NCAA qualifying performance on the one meter.

Saturday, the swimmers and divers fell to Williams in another exciting meet. Going up against the strongest team in the New Egland Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC), they hoped for strong performances, and saw just that. The results were far from disappointing.

The men's team saw especially impressive performances. In an extremely close first relay, the team of Strickler, Malloy, Stuntz and David Hawkins '05 took first in a time of 1:37.90. Hawkins also took first in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 22.14. Other first place finishes were seen by co-captain Strickler in the 100-yard backstroke (54.12) and co-captain Stuntz in the 100-yard fly (53.36). The 200-yard freestyle relay team of Hawkins, Strickler, Brian Costa '05 and Jason Korsmeyer '05 also finished first in a close race with a time of 1:28.25.

On the women's side, both Miller and Egan improved upon their NCAA "B" cuts from last weekend. Dewitt helped the Panthers with three second-place finishes as did Taylor with two second-place finishes.

Dewitt finished second in the 100-yard backstroke (1:00.55), the 50-yard freestyle (25.39) and the 100-yard free (54.42). Taylor was second in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:10.18) and the 500-yard free (5:11.67).

Despite two losses added to each record, Head Coach Peter Solomon is excited about the results of each meet and confident in his outlook on the remainder of the season. With NESCAC championships only four weeks away, the team is in a better position than expected to have an amazing end to the season.