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Tuesday, Feb 20, 2024

Sweet Farewell For Senior Swimmers

Author: Shannon EGan

The men's and women's swimming and diving teams kept busy over break with a pair of home meets, including a dual meet vs. Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Middlebury Invitational. The teams topped M.I.T. with a score of 169-119 for the men and 167-128 for the women. In the exhibition-based Middlebury Invitational, which included University of Vermont, St. Michael's College and Norwich College, Middlebury dominated the field with season best performances all around.

Double winners helping Middlebury secure the victory against M.I.T. on the men's side included Jason Korsmeyer '05 and captains Grayson Stuntz '02 and Derek Chicarilli '02. Korsmeyer took the 200-yard freestyle in 1:49.99 and the 100 freestyle in 49.37. Stuntz captured the 100 backstroke in a time of 55.93 and the 100 fly in a time of 53.52. Finally, Chicarilli, never ceasing to amaze the judges, captured both the one and three meter diving events.

The Panthers began the meet with a win in the 200-yard medley relay. The team included Scott Strickler '02, Mike Malloy '02, Stuntz and David Hawkins '05. Winners of single events for the men included first-year Brian Costa who took the 50 freestyle in 22.97, Andrew Sterling '03 who won the 500 freestyle in a season-best time of 4:54.39, Malloy who took the 200 breaststroke in 2:21.62 and finally co-captain Strickler, winning the 200 backstroke in 2:02.58.

On the women's side, double winners included sophomores Lizzy Dewitt and Sarah Groff, and first-year diver Tessa Truex. DeWitt took first in the 100 and 200 backstroke events, with times of 1:00.58 and 2:10.59, respectively. Groff took both the 200 freestyle in 1:58.67 and the 500 freestyle in 5:15.72. Truex won both the one and three meter diving events like her male counterpart Chicarilli.

Single winners included Kate Miller '05 in the 400 medley with a time of 4:44.11, Martha Goebel '04 in the 50 freestyle and Mandy Smeal '02 in the 100 fly with a time of 1:01.23.

Ending the impressive dual meet season, the men came out with a 6-4 record while the women finished 7-3 overall.

Last Saturday, the Panthers hosted the Middlebury Invitational, which turned out to be a Vermont State Swimming and Diving Championship Meet, the first in decades according to Coach Peter Solomon. While Norwich and St. Michael's have attended this meet regularly, this was the first year UVM was in attendance, creating a new and exciting atmosphere.

Although the meet saw two pool records broken, and both season and career best times all around, it was a bittersweet environment. For the seniors, it was the last meet in the home pool and for approximately 15 swimmers and divers it was the last meet of the season.

For seniors Meghan Dwyer and Ryan Garrity, Saturday's meet marked the end of their careers. Garrity saw nearly 30 second drops in his distance races, and Dwyer clocked in at her lifetime best in the 200 breaststroke, her favorite event. Over four years, these two have been such an integral part of the team due to their positive attitudes and support. Solomon could not have been more pleased with their performances, and reiterated how much the entire team will miss them. Their careers ended on perfect notes.

Solomon eagerly awaits the NESCAC championships, which will begin for the women on Feb. 22 and the men on the Feb. 29. "The best is yet to come," Solomon said.