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Since the start of the pandemic, Addison County's robust network of nonprofit organizations has been reworking its services to comply with Vermont’s social distancing protocols and continue collaborative, volunteer-based service. Covid-19-induced challenges, Vermont’s worsening opioid crisis and increased demand for real estate have critically affected the lives of people experiencing homelessness within Addison County.
More people in Addison County sought out services in 2020 than in past years, according to Helena Van Voorst, executive director of United Way of Addison County (UWAC). The John Graham shelter in Vergennes and Helping Overcome Poverty’s Effects (HOPE) in Middlebury also noticed a sizable uptick in the number of individuals who utilized the food security, counseling and housing services this past year than in previous years.
“We saw both more people in Addison County needing help and an influx of people from outside of the county coming to Addison County for help,” Van Voorst said. She noted that Addison County organizations provided hotel rooms for approximately 85 people.
The effects of Covid-19 on homelessness have yet to be reported by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), hindering organizational efforts. While the exact result is unknown, it is clear that the crisis has correspondingly worsened.
Even before the pandemic, millions of Americans were impacted by a nationwide housing crisis. In 2020, HUD estimated that 568,000 Americans (roughly 17 in 10,000 people in the U.S.) lacked secure housing.
Vermont accounted for 1,089 of these individuals, and 81 were within Addison County. However, the real numbers may be higher: Counts are determined using a narrow definition of homelessness that may not include everyone experiencing housing insecurity, and the count is conducted with volunteers by hand.
Fortunately, the state loosened the rules of the General Assistance and Emergency Housing program, which is administered by Economic Services.
“Prior to Covid-19, there was a very specific set of requirements that people would have to meet in order to qualify for this program,” said Kelly Conley of HOPE in an email to The Campus. Now that requirements are relaxed, organizations can more easily house their clients in hotels.
According to Jess Halper, executive director of the John Graham Shelter, her organization has placed approximately 80 households at the Marriott, Middlebury Sweets, Middlebury Inn and Sugarhouse Motel. In order to ensure social distancing, the John Graham Shelter has limited the number of households able to stay within the shelter itself.
“We have one room per household; before, there were two households per room,” Halper said.
Complying with pandemic protocols, the John Graham Shelter has also adjusted its operations. Clients do not need to receive a negative Covid-19 test before using the shelter’s services, but they must adhere to strict physical distancing procedures. The kitchen and living areas of the shelter, formerly communal and social spaces, are now used as quarantine spaces and rooms to hold bagged meals. Although some children still attend school in person, many join virtually using tablets provided by the shelter.
HOPE’s most significant adjustment has been how they communicate with their clients. “We primarily are speaking with them over the phone or, on occasion, outside,” Conley said.
Outreach and communication have been compromised in the pandemic, particularly for those who don’t consume news media, use social media or have access to the internet. UWAC has struggled to reach people to make sure their needs are being met.
“People might interact with their doctor, elderly service or some other organization, but with folks being mostly in their homes, we need to be sure that we connect with those people.”
In response to this challenge, UWAC has dispersed informative flyers, resource guides and contacts for mutual aid via all-town mailings.
“One mutual aid group gave information to first responders, so if they went to a home to perhaps help an elderly person who isn’t getting the paper or internet and who doesn’t know what help is available, the first responders are armed with a resource guide,” Van Voorst said. UWAC also launched an emergency Covid-19 relief fund called Addison County Response, which allocates philanthropic funding to people who are experiencing homelessness or about to be experiencing homelessness.
Increased isolation and hardship have exacerbated the opioid crisis, especially among homeless individuals. Employment in Vermont has decreased by 3.1%, while substance abuse has increased. Van Voorst confirmed that drug addiction serves as a barrier to accessing immediate housing relief services.
“When youth get in the habit of using at younger ages, it’s likely to be more problematic when they’re older. We hope that as time goes on, we’ll see fewer issues with substance abuse disorder in our adults,” she said.
The UWAC staff is working all remote, while the John Graham Shelter moved staff members into hotels to serve the needs of homeless people.
Despite providing an essential service, nonprofits like the John Graham Shelter have had to continue working remotely partly because of their low priority status on the vaccine waitlist.
“We had to really advocate to get ourselves even in the running for vaccines. And I can’t speak to the state’s behind-the-scenes process on that, but it is haphazard and confusing. I would say the overall stress on the staff is enormous,” Halper said.
The lack of student volunteers has been another stressor for nonprofit employees.
“When we were first learning that college students were going to go home was the first snap of reality… we thought about how so many nonprofits in the county are losing manpower when they need it most,” Van Voorst said. As Covid-19 worsened, organizations realised that relying on any type of volunteers would be difficult.
More than ever, Addison County organizations are working together to step up to the novel challenges spurred by the pandemic.
“We have really close relationships with other agencies in the community. Many of the agencies in Addison County come together once a week to meet and talk. Everyone is committed to collaboration,” Van Voorst said. To donate to Addison County organizations, visit United Way Addison County, John Graham Center and HOPE.
The state’s already struggling dairy industry has been destroying its sitting supply of milk in a reluctant response to Covid-19 economic realities. Due to the indefinite shut down of restaurants, schools and businesses, Vermont’s dairy farms have been faced with a steep drop in demand and nowhere to store excess product. A high demand in food retail does not nearly make up for the lack of food service. And across the nation, farmers are destroying the fresh food that they can no longer sell.
“We are deeply concerned about all dairy farms at this moment in time,” said Laura Ginsberg, agricultural development section chief of the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets. “After 4 years of really poor milk prices coming into this, it's not like farmers were set up in a strong financial position, because milk prices have been low for so long now.” Ginsberg anticipates that it will take a toll, but is uncertain how drastic the magnitude of the shock will be in the industry across Vermont and New England.
Prior to the virus outbreak, U.S. dairy farmers overproduced and oversupplied their milk to salvage a shrinking profit. Because agricultural goods are not adjusted to inflation, the surplus lowers milk prices. This forces dairy farmers into a cycle of production expansion in response to price reductions. New England’s small-scale farmers are left especially vulnerable, since the USDA sets milk retail prices at the highly industrialized national standard.
“It’s cheaper to produce milk out west, so their cost of production is lower than ours. And you can't have a large farm in Vermont because of topography and weather, so there's no way we can compete on cost of production. This is a really troublesome spot for our producers,” Ginsberg said.
Doug Dimento, director of corporate communications at Agri-Mark and Cabot, speculates that there may be a fundamental shift in dairying in the Northeast. “Small farmers have been financially fragile,” he said. “We were expected to see rebounds in farm prices this year, but now we expect them to go down over the next few months because of oversupply of milk forcing prices downward.”
Jon Rooney, owner of Monument Farms in Weybridge, where the college sources its milk, has seen significantly reduced demand from restaurant closures. “Due to the fact that Middlebury College students are consuming less and less milk, the lack of [Middlebury College] Food Service has not had a big impact on our fluid milk usage,” Rooney wrote in an email to The Campus. “Restaurant sales represent a substantial portion of our overall business, but it’s the extras, primarily cream, the most valuable portion of the milk, that are piling up.” Ancillary products, such as cheese, sour cream, heavy cream and half & half play a big role in the farm’s overall revenues, but the milk is being dumped rather than processed.
For example, Cabot, a dairy processing company that sources from 160 Vermont dairy farms, is working overtime to alleviate the effects of oversupply. Cabot has four plants that run for 20 hours each day, leaving four hours to sanitize the facility. “We are running full speed, as hard as we can,” Dimento said. “In Springfield, Mass., we’re making butter and milk powder as quickly as we can, but it's not fast enough to absorb all this extra milk.” The Middlebury plant, located on Exchange Street, continues to employ a full staff.
Monument Farms has already been dumping its skim milk for three years. “We had a great need for the cream, but not the skim milk,” Rooney said. Previously, the farm dumped its skim milk into a digester to generate electricity. Monument Farms would truck its milk to a plant, where workers skim off the cream and return the fat-free milk to the farm. Now, the farm dumps full fat milk without selling the cream.
Other co-ops and processing companies claim milk from farmers, only to dump it in mature pits or co-op facilities, according to Ginsberg. “A farmer may not know their milk is getting dumped out, or a farm might have a milk truck come, pump the milk out of the tank, then back up to the manure pit and dump it there,” she said. Ginsberg said that although there is a misperception that individual farmers are making the decision to dump milk, this is never the case — it is ultimately the decision of the cooperative or company with which the farmer is affiliated.
Molly Anderson, professor and director of Food Studies at the college, believes the best solution is for the government to purchase the excess milk from dairy processors and distribute it to food-insecure households. The USDA has allocated $19 billion in Covid-19 relief to the agricultural sector; $3 billion will purchase commodities for food insecure households. “If the processors are selling yogurt, cheese and butter to the government, it means they can take more from the farmers,” Anderson said.
While donating the milk is a potential remedy, it brings new challenges. “We are working on getting that excess fluid milk into the charitable food system,” Ginsberg said. “That is not as easy as it sounds. There are very strict federal regulations on how milk moves through the marketplace.”
The Vermont Agency of Agriculture is working with a number of charitable organizations to bypass these barriers.
“I had a conference call involving Cabot and several other groups to get as much food as we can to the food banks, but we don’t borrow any fluid milk; we have no way to get it: no trucks,” Dimento said.
If milk dumping becomes a long term practice, farmers will eventually reduce their herd numbers to decrease the amount of food, water and other inputs. “There is going to be some killing of cows that wouldn’t otherwise have happened in such a quick manner,” Ginsberg said. Despite recent supply management efforts, this poses a serious threat to farmer income.
"There are going to be lots of tough decisions made on farms,” Dimento said. “We are very scared for what may take place on farms in months ahead.”
As for Monument Farms, Rooney said that he does not plan on reducing his herd size. “Due to the fact that we need to be ready once restaurants open back up,” he said,” it would not be a good idea for us to reduce cow numbers.”
A resident of Addison County has tested positive for Covid-19, according to an all-campus email sent by Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration David Provost on Wednesday.
Middlebury Director of Health Services Mark Peluso said he was “not aware of any students” who had tested positive for the virus when asked by The Campus if the case was a Middlebury student.
The individual tested positive through Porter’s “Drive Through Testing” service and was subsequently sent home to self isolate, according to a press release posted on the Porter Medical Center site early Wednesday morning. The patient is now receiving care and following CDC guidelines within their home, the email said. Peluso said students should continue to follow the college-recommended safety protocol to mitigate potential risk of contraction.
The Vermont Department of Health Department will identify and notify people who were potentially exposed to the case, according to the email from Provost. The Porter press release said the medical center is preparing for a spike in Covid-19 cases, and has developed emergency response plans in accordance.
“Forgotten Farms” opens with a panoramic view of a green, picturesque landscape — the charming scenery that defines Vermont. Shown at The Marquis on Wednesday, March 8, the film then turns its spotlight to the dairy farmers who own and manage the majority of this land, juxtaposing these beautiful rolling plains with the challenges those farmers face in today’s food system. The film was followed by a discussion with local dairy farmers.
Directed by Dave Simonds and produced by Sarah Gardner, “Forgotten Farms” glimpses into the lives of several hardworking dairy farming families in New England, showing how the confluence of cultural and economic factors introduces hardship and insecurity in their lives. For centuries, farming families served as the backbone of New England agriculture. In recent years, changes in the agroindustry have allowed some agriculturalists to thrive, obscuring the fact that most of New England’s agriculture is under threat.
Since the industrialization of agriculture, New England has lost over ten thousand dairy farms. Many of these farms had been maintained in families, passed down through generations. “You lose more than farms, you lose the history of who they have been, how they got there, what they have,” said one dairy farmer who was interviewed for the film. The farmer referred to his great grandfather, who pioneered his way into the dairy farming industry 75 years prior. At that time, local farmers brought the community together, fostering connection between food producers and consumers. In this symbiotic relationship, the community respected its farmers. Today, two percent of the total population produces food, and not even their next door neighbors understand their work.
As communities become gentrified and small-scale farms disappear, stigmas about dairy farming emerge. According to those interviewed in the film, residents frequently approach them to complain about the smell of manure or to tell them that their work is environmentally harmful. These residents do not know that manure is beneficial for soil, or that dairy farms compose a substantial portion of New England’s agriculture.
The film also touched upon the economic challenges of the industry. Agricultural goods are never adjusted to inflation: in a vicious cycle, the more that farmers produce, the cheaper their milk prices become. “It’s always been sort of a ‘break even’ operation. Grain costs 20 thousand dollars a month, and we spend a million dollars on everything we touch,” a dairy farmer testified in the film. There are times when farmers roll out of bed and know that they can’t make money. And the work never stops.
Harold Giard, former member of the Vermont State Senate (D-Addison) and retired dairy farmer, chronicled the plight of how low milk prices hurt local dairy farmers after the screening.
“Every time a dairy farmer wants something, he needs to milk more cows, because the cost of the piece of equipment is so much money. So we get on this treadmill and continue to run,” he told the audience. Rob Hunt, local dairy farmer who was also at the screening, recalled his life in the past, before small dairy farmers endured financial insecurity.
“The first year I shipped milk was in 1979, and in that year, the average price of milk paid to me was $17.25 per gallon, and that’s what we got paid last year,” Hunt said, noting that in 1979 he could also buy five gallons of Diesel fuel, coffee and a donut for five dollars.
Now, he said, those prices would be unheard of.
“As the margin per hundred pounds gets smaller and smaller, it takes more and more hundred pounds to make a living,” he added. He speculated that these dropping milk prices are why farms industrialize and merge — including his own farm, the property of which he is selling to a larger farm.
Traditionally, dairy farming families hired a few extra helping hands, especially over the summer when teens and adolescents lined up for work. Middlebury’s local dairy farmers recalled how, in the 1970s, there were dozens of dairy farms in their towns that freely hired students. Now there are a few at best, and their mechanized work is unfit for young workers.
“Ten years ago, you could count on one hand the number of dairy farms in Addison County that employed migrant workers. Today, you could count on one hand the number of dairy farmers that do not employ migrant workers,” he said, though the film did not touch on migrant workers.
Marc Cesario, a first-generation farmer in Cornwall, Vermont, whose 1200-acre cattle farm provides beef to Middlebury College, supported the presence of large farms in the dairy industry. “I actually find that I can do a better job of grazing, and it has a better impact on the land, as animal numbers have grown,” he said. “As my herds have grown, it has had a positive impact on soil health and ecology. Growth has been beneficial to me.”
For more information about the film, visit ForgottenFarms.org.
The number of children using mental health services in Vermont has doubled over the past two decades, according to a recent task force report from Building Bright Futures, a Williston-based non- profit. The report found that in 1999, roughly 1,700 children ages nine and under used mental health services in Vermont. Despite the state’s shrinking population, 3,322 children used the same services in 2018.
Building Bright Futures (BBF), a public-private partnership, monitors the state’s early care, health and education systems. Established in 2010 by law, it advises Vermont administration and legislation on early childhood policy.
Beth Truzansky, Deputy Director of BBF, sees the increase in mental health service use as a preventative measure rather than as a social response. The report results point to a cultural shift in mental health education and increased awareness of mental health services.
The BBF State Advisory Council formed an Early Childhood and Family Mental Health Task Force in 2019 to address the importance of mental wellbeing among Vermont children and families. In response to the notable increase in mental health service usage, both state and nationwide, the State Advisory Council started a conversation with Vermont families and spearheaded the report.
The 2020 report highlights the number of families with children under the age of nine who walk through the doors of Vermont mental health agencies. These families access crisis services and other forms of support, such as home-based therapy and case management. The study includes children in residential care, Vt. Dept. of Children and Family custody and specialized child care.
The increase in mental health service use does not reflect any particular cause. “It’s hard to point to one [factor],” said Cheryle Wilcox, Interagency Planning Director at Vermont Department of Mental Health and BBF State Advisory Council co-chair. She said, however, that familial trauma and substance abuse are major drivers.
Another definite contributor is the ongoing opioid epidemic and its impact on rural Vermont families. The number of babies born with opioid dependencies hit a peak about five or six years ago, according to the Department of Mental Health. Now entering elementary school, these children face greater mental health challenges than some of their peers.
“I would not call [the results] an epidemic,” Truzansky said. “We are trying to raise awareness that it’s good for people to find support when they need it and we want those supports to be available.”
“We don’t want a crisis,” she added. “We want to support kids and families so that when kids are adults, they can deal with whatever stressors that may come. We are investing in families so that kids are growing up in safe and supportive spaces in which they can build relationships.”
Although the report’s data does not indicate patients’ socioeconomic status, both Truzansky and Wilcox agree that lower income families are at a higher risk of mental illness.
The two said that, especially in rural Vermont, a lack of resources, transportation and employment add to mental stress.
“When parents are struggling through issues, their basic needs are also challenged,” Wilcox said.
BBF has case managers that help connect families to resources to relieve food and housing insecurity, in an effort to ease the stress on parents. “With young children, their caregiver is the person that’s with them most of the time,” Wilcox said. “Therefore, it’s important for us and for everyone to support parents so that they have the capacity and support they need to be taking care of their children.”
Healthcare accessibility is also challenged by Vermont’s high cost of living and persisting decrease in population.
“There are a lot of vacancies in our community mental health agencies,” Wilcox said. “I think there’s this piece of young children who’ve experienced trauma, and then this issue of trying to recruit workforce and retain people.”
Wilcox added that working in childcare is often a labor of love.
“Early care and learning and mental health is not a high paying field,” she said. “That’s been tough — to have [enough] people in place to support children when they need help.”
Insurance is able to remove certain financial barriers to mental healthcare. Ninety-eight percent of children who access health service providers have their visits covered by insurance, the result of the federal mandate for child Medicaid.
Mental health agencies in Vermont accept Medicaid, as well as private insurance. “It’s something we do really well in Vermont — making sure patients are insured,” Wilcox said.
Currently, BBF works to elevate mental healthcare accessibility by coordinating with mental health agencies and early learning centers. In designated regions of Vermont, a BBF coordinator brings people together to address youth mental health on a local scale.
Within Addison County, BBF has worked with community mental health agencies, the Vermont Department of Health and other parent/child centers to launch an initiative called “Ok. You’ve Got This.” Its mission is to foster youth resilience through public awareness and educational campaigns. “It’s really about how we can make sure, with the challenges going on, that we instill hope and that people can bounce back from hard times,” Wilcox said. “‘Ok. You’ve Got This’ is a nice way to say that there are challenges, but there are things you can do.”
Efforts made by nonprofit organizations and public health agencies strengthen the availability of their resources. As young Vermont children and their families seek mental health services, they prevent depression, create stability and promote healthy development for generations to come. “We all go through hard times,” Wilcox said. “[But] there are specific things parents can do to help their children.”
Vermont’s minimum wage will increase by 18 cents on Jan. 1, 2020, bringing the hourly wage to $10.96. The tipped wage, for state employees that receive the majority of their earnings through tips, will increase up $5.48, an increase of 9 cents.
In 2014, the state passed Act 176, which raised Vermont’s 2017 minimum wage to $10. Under this law, minimum wage increases by the rate of inflation as long as the percentage increase falls below 5%, which has not occurred since 1990. The state determines the rate of inflation from the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and assures the change in minimum wage complies with the cost of living adjustment. Yet, the real wage value is still less than it was 50 years ago. Michael Harrington, acting commissioner of the Vermont Department of Labor, still believes the small pay boost will benefit workers.
“Any time we see natural growth in the minimum wage, as we do now, is good,” Harrington said. “I think employees will certainly find value in this increase, even though it is a small amount.”
Although the Vermont minimum wage has continuously increased over the last decade, the 2020 change is less than last year, when minimum wage rose by 28 cents. Furthermore, according to a study by the Vermont Legislative Joint Fiscal Office, Vermont’s single-person livable wage is $15 – $18, and the average living wage is $13.34. According to Peter Matthews, Middlebury professor of economics, minimum wage has yet to satisfy the standard cost of living.
“Even in the best-case scenario — a household with two full-time adult workers and no children – the current minimum wage falls well short of basic needs, as calculated by the Joint Fiscal Office of the Vermont legislature, and will continue to do so,” he said.
Tied with Arizona, Vermont’s minimum wage is the sixth highest in the United States and is significantly higher than New Hampshire’s federal minimum wage of $7.25. However, the minimum wage does not necessarily correlate to the state’s cost of living.
Vermont resident Emily Klar ’21 spoke to the disparity between income and living expenses. Two summers ago, Klar was an employee at Dunkin Donuts where she worked lots of overtime hours. She says she also held a second job for a while.
“Some weeks, I was working about 60–70 hours,” she said. “I was still barely able to save any money, and all I was paying for were gas and minor expenses. The expenses while working that kind of job were impossible to meet.”
According to Matthews, more than half of minimum wage workers in Vermont are full-time. “The sectors in which the current minimum wage is most salient include service — food, education and health — and retail,” he said.
In recent years, the Vermont House and Senate have considered several proposals to further increase minimum wage. House Bill 93/Senate Bill 40, the most supported bill thus far, would increase the minimum wage by $1 every Jan. 1 from 2018–2021, then by $1.5 in 2022 before maxing out at $15. If this bill was enacted, Vermont would tie with California for the highest minimum wage in the country. Advocates, such as state lawmakers and Vermonters, argue that a $15 wage would promote spending in local businesses and in turn boost the state economy. Opponents point to the higher cost for labor and the inevitable cutback of existing employees. In an article published by the Ethan Allen Institute, the authors write that a drastic increase in minimum wage would negatively affect underrepresented, underprivileged demographics, leading to structural unemployment in low skilled workers. In addition to the decrease in labor demand, businesses, unable to meet higher labor costs, would fail altogether.
When asked how the economy would respond to a $15 minimum wage, Professor Matthews emphasized the importance of national cohestivity. “Under ideal circumstances, the federal minimum wage would increase to $15 or more, and all states would be brought along,” Matthews said. He also said that an estimated 40 million workers would benefit from increased living standards. As stated in Vermont’s Joint Fiscal Office’s April report, “pronounced and growing minimum wage rate differential with New Hampshire and other states at or near the Federal minimum wage of $7.25 represents a potential economic risk.” The differential between Vermont and New Hampshire’s minimum wage is “the largest historical spread on record.”
Most recently, Governor Phill Scott vetoed a bill backed by Vermont Senate to raise minimum wage to $15 by 2024. Democratic leaders of the Vermont House and Senate have been unable to find common ground on legislation regarding this prospect.
Midterms are in full swing, fall break is right around the corner and Vermont’s renowned peak foliage has hit. The season is here, and with it comes brilliant bursts of color that define fall in New England. The Green Mountains show their seasonal red hue and blazing leaves wash the trees with a fiery touch.
Where can students find the best glimpse of fall? Middlebury’s landscape horticulturist Tim Parsons vouches for Snake Mountain.
“It should be a graduation requirement for all students to hike Snake Mountain, if able,” he said. Aside from this staple hike, Parsons recommended Bristol Cliffs and Mount Abraham.
For those staying on campus over break, Vermont Mountain’s Sports and Life ranks Hunger Mountain in Waterbury and Mad River Glen in Waitsfield as two of the top nine Vermont hikes for fall foliage.
Students can even appreciate the stunning scenery without lifting a finger. “Middlebury is a gorgeous campus with really beautiful trees!” Parsons said.
Indeed, Middlebury has seen scattered sights of foliage since mid-September. Although trees turn their leaves at various rates, early foliage is a sign of environmental stress. The first trees to turn are typically stressed or hurt.
“Even the top of that really big tree, there, that’s really stressed,” Parsons said, pointing to a particularly bright yellow tree by McCullough Student Center. “It’s my job to read trees.” The black maple tree species produces a radiant red tone that is crucial to Vermont fall. Black maples thrive in cold weather, whereas oak trees, with their dull, muted gold, are more apparent in areas south of Vermont. According to Parsons’ active social media presence, black maple trees’ peak foliage occurred about a week earlier this year than last.
“I posted almost that exact same picture last year, but a week or two earlier,” he said of his recent Instagram photo. “Two to three weeks ago, when I was seeing trees turn, that to me was a really bad sign.”
According to Parsons, foliage has also been affected by the wet weather throughout the past year. Persistent wetness has led to leaf spots, mildew and diseases. Although the difference goes unnoticed, the leaves are ridden with spots that stay brown rather than turn color.
Parsons, however, is not concerned for the foliage in upcoming years. Global climate change hasn’t disturbed the foliage quite yet, as foliage is prompted by daylight rather than temperature. As daylight becomes shorter, chlorophyll production slows, making way for the carotenoids that produce foliage colors.
That’s not to say foliage avoids responding to climate change altogether. “In the grand scheme of things, global warming might affect foliage in the long run,” Parsons said.
Environmental changes have degraded the quality of peak foliage this year. But to the bare eye, these minimal effects have not yet manifested to disrupt the spectacular fall views. Vermonters should enjoy them while they last, both in the short and long term.
“I’m saying leaves aren’t as good this year, but wow, they’re still great,” Parsons said.
Columbus Day may soon become Indigenous Peoples’ Day in Vermont, thanks to a bill (S.68) passed by the Senate on April 17. The bill was met with resounding approval, and will become a permanent change once it receives Gov. Phil Scott’s signature.
For several years, Scott has signed the executive proclamation changing the holiday’s name, just for the day. Former Gov. Peter Shumlin also supported the measure from 2016 to 2018. This year’s legislative action, however, will enforce the change as state law.
Several other states are in the process of renaming Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day, including Alaska, South Dakota, Oregon, Minnesota and Hawaii. New Mexico and Maine recently established the switch in official state law. Among cities and towns, popular opinion is leading to similar change on a local scale.
John Moody, an active member of the Abenaki community in Hartford, Vermont, noted the amount of support from the state government and residents in renaming the holiday.
“This came from the governor’s office and general consensus. The Hartford town vote was 55 percent to 45 percent in favor,” Moody said. “The process in town was remarkably civil and quiet considering the continued carnage in nearby New Hampshire over the same issue,” Moody said, citing the fact that at least half of Hartford’s population identifies as Native American as a possible reason for this civility.
Led by Republican Governor Chris Sununu, New Hampshire’s Senate rejected the bill. Although the vote was a success in Vermont, there was a fair amount of opposition from 24 Vermont Republicans, who voted against the change.
Republican representative Scott Beck believes Indigenous Peoples’ Day should be celebrated as a separate holiday. “Columbus is one of the great discoverers of all time. He is what really led Europeans over here, he was a big part of that,” Beck commented in an interview with VTDigger.
According to Middlebury College American Studies Professor William Hart, however, changing the name of a holiday, building or landmark doesn’t affect the underlying history. Instead, it dismantles the European narrative, addressing repressed elements of history.
While changing the name of the holiday can’t change the “five-hundred-year history of disease, enslavement, displacement and conquest,” explained Hart, what it can do is “de-center the story; it takes away from reaffirming Columbus as the [only] history in the Americans and in the West.”
Columbus Day was initially observed with church, festivals and feasts before becoming a national calendar holiday in 1937 and currently represents a symbol of American national identity for some. However, what Columbus Day fails to address is how, for the first 200 years of early U.S. history, European settlers were not only the minority among those Native peoples already living there — but the European settlers were also guilty of mass genocide and colonization of those peoples.
“Our governing institutions, Constitution and principles of liberty come from Great Britain, so that is the link that Americans make to their past and to their heritage,” Hart said. “That is the story that gets amplified and centered in this pageant of American history. Changing Columbus Day to Native Peoples’ Day or Indigenous Peoples’ Day is a way of embarking on this vast early American perspective.”
According to Hart, making this change would contribute to a de-centering of Europeans and a re-centering of Native peoples, forcing us to consider who lived here and “made this history possible.”
“Enslaved Africans play a central role in this America as well. Without enslaved labour, this nation would not have been able to build itself as it did from 1600 to 1790,” he said.
By reframing the historical narrative, this change contributes to a movement among early American scholars, who are shifting their ways of teaching and understanding American history. The change helps bring non-Europeans to the forefront of American Studies, so that they are no longer an alternative topic, tangential to the European narrative.
“I think curriculum changes are already beginning here at Middlebury; you see lots of changes that address the diversity of the U.S. culture, literally, historically, and so forth,” he said, bringing the broader cultural shift in education to a more local context.
“Now it’s changing,” Moody said. According to Moody, people with indigenous blood are engaging with their Native American heritage and connecting across societies. “Vermont seems like the whitest state in the union,” he said. “But there’s a tremendous amount of people with native blood.”
In the annual Town Meeting vote, which took place on March 5 this year, Middlebury residents elected to pass an article to advise the town legislature to ban retail locations from distributing single-use, carry-out plastic bags. Created by Middlebury resident Amy McAninch and Amelia Miller ’20, the article proposes the ban of plastic bag usage by local retailers and establishments.
Residents in Burlington and Manchester also voted this Town Meeting day to advise a ban on plastic bags, and this past summer Brattleboro became the first town in the state to enact a complete ban.
The Vermont Senate has caught on too, recently voting in favor of an act prohibiting single-use plastic products and styrofoam. The act, S.113, was approved on March 27. If enacted, it will ban plastic bags throughout Vermont and instead require stores and restaurants to charge 10 cents or more for paper bags. The Senate bill would also ban styrofoam coffee cups and food containers, and require that restaurants only provide straws upon request.
Middlebury’s proposed ban has been a year in the works. Inspired by the plastic bag ban movement across New England, town resident McAninch initiated the proposal last spring. Miller came across McAninch’s project while researching for an Environmental Policy class assignment. After connecting through Miller’s professor, they successfully organized a petition and collected signatures from 5% of town voters. By campaigning at the Middlebury Co-op, public town events and the Middlebury Farmers’ Market, they tallied hundreds of signatures, earning the petition a spot on the town ballot.
The article specifically prohibits the distribution of plastic bags less than 4 mils (0.0004 inches) thick; plastic bags are typically one to two mils thick. Any bag thicker than 4 mils would be too expensive for single use, encouraging customers to shop with reusable bags.
The town of Middlebury and other Vermont communities may want to invest in personal reusable items next year once these bans are enacted.
MIDDLEBURY — In recent years, housing costs have reached a crisis level throughout Addison County, significantly increasing homelessness among low income residents. A coalition of Addison County nonprofits are coming together in an effort to address shortages and increased demand.
Organizations including Helping Overcome Poverty’s Effects, The Counseling Service of Addison County and Middlebury’s Charter House Coalition are currently searching for roughly two acres of land to build about a dozen housing areas for the homeless. Called “Middlebury Shares,” the project will be financially supported by various nonprofits and businesses, which will sponsor each individual dwelling.
The vision behind Middlebury Shares is to create 10 to 15 units that will function like “tiny homes,” a concept favored by Ingrid Pixley, an organizer of Middlebury Shares and resident service coordinator with the Counseling Service of Addison County (CSAC).
“The idea is to have a shared common space with shared resources; a place that’s close to the downtown area or to transportation downtown so that residents can get to work back and forth,” Pixley told The Campus.
The “tiny home” model is a series of buildings, all less than 500 square feet, structured around a common area that would facilitate both independence and community living. These consolidated spaces, complete with solar panels, would allow for an energy efficient, subsidized living situation among Addison County’s homeless.
“It’s an affordable way for someone to live. A lot of people don’t need the big footprint and would rather choose to live more affordably with others,” Pixley said.
This past fall, local human service officials determined that 49 households in Addison County are in need of a permanent residence. While individuals comprise most of this number, there are nine couples and five families who are food and shelter insecure.
“Right now, there’s the Charter House; that’s always full,” Pixley said. “People move around and go from friend to friend, sleep on couches, and stay in storage units.”
“If you make minimum wage, you cannot afford to live in Middlebury, and you need a vehicle too,” said Doug Sinclair, co-director of the Charter House Coalition. “We are trying to help those who need a stable way to live. I can tell you that half of the people in Charter House shelter have jobs and can’t afford to live in the community.”
Those experiencing homelessness often also have to grapple with health complications, which can be made more difficult due to a lack of access to stable housing, Sinclair explained. “They can go to the ER or Urgent Care and get assistance there, but it’s band-aids; it’s not taking care of chronic challenges,” he said.
Members of Continuum of Care, a long-term program that guides patients through various health services, believe the county needs a deeply subsidized housing option that provides support and help for residents complying with the terms of their lease. Middlebury Shares hopes to provide just that, along with services to help them learn tenancy skills and connect with other community-based programs.
Currently, the project is facing multiple roadblocks. The nonprofits funding Middlebury Shares would like to build the units on Seymour Street, but they still have a long way to go before the concept can be brought to fruition. According to Elise Shanbacker, creator of the initial Middlebury Shares proposal, the project is a “three legged stool.”
“You need capital to build the housing, operating subsidy to pay the rent and money to pay for on-site services,” she wrote in an email published in the Addison Independent.
“A big barrier to building this kind of housing in Addison County is that the Vermont State Housing Authority doesn’t have any more project-based Section 8 vouchers to make available, so we lack access to operating subsidy that can pay for housing expenses,” she said.
Despite the economic and environmental benefits the tiny home villages could offer, some town officials have offered pushback, concerned with the aesthetic component of the project.
“The concept we’re fighting is that the tiny home is cheaply put together, not eye pleasing and that Middlebury has to look appealing,” Pixley said. “Town officials are asking, ‘What will this look like? Will it be an eyesore? Will it be seen from the road?’ and those kind of perceptions.”
But, Pixley added, “Maybe they can look traditionally Vermont; there are so many ideas out there, right now we’re just talking with all kinds of people. There’s amazing interest in this tiny home movement.”
According to Pixley, Middlebury Shares is applying for a grant from a state arch group who does free designs for community projects.
“Vermont sees itself as a progressive state, yet other areas, such as Syracuse and Ithaca, have big tiny home villages,” Pixley said. “Some places have figured it out and they are good working communities. We just haven’t quite figured it out yet.”
To learn more about or donate to the project, visit www.charterhouse coalition.org, www.hope-vt.org or www.csac-vt.org.
The 2019 men’s swimming and diving NESCAC championship was held in the Middlebury Natatorium last weekend, February 21-24, where the Panthers placed eighth. Williams captured the first place spot for the 16th time in 17 years, collecting 1,822 points. Coming in as runner-up was Tufts with 1,775.5 points, followed by Amherst (1,506 points). Middlebury rounded out the top eight (589.5 points), behind Bowdoin, Bates, Colby and Connecticut College.
In the one-meter diving final, Mike Chirico ’20 dove to an All-NESCAC performance for his third consecutive year, earning an NCAA “B” cut of 445.90 points to claim third place. For the past three years, Chirico has scored within the top three of the conference. His impressive performance is not a surprise, as he has consistently dominated both the one-meter and three-meter boards this season. In Sunday’s three-meter event, Chirico took fourth, scoring 435.30 points.
Thursday and Friday’s events led to several top 10 finishes. The 800 freestyle relay team of Morgan Matsuda ’19, Jack Dowling ’19, Alec Wilson ’21 and Zach Einhorn ’21 took ninth with a 7:01.03. Corey Jalbert ’21, Will Pannos ’20, Jake Gaughan ’22 and Brendan Leech ’19 claimed sixth in the 200 freestyle relay (1:24.01). Leech, Bryan Chang ’22, Pannos and Jalbert then scored seventh in the 400 medley relay, swimming a 3:25.48. Two Panthers secured individual top scoring titles. Leech finished eighth in the 50 backstroke final (23.52) and Pannos finished ninth in the 50 free (21.10).
On Saturday, the 200 medley relay squad of Leech, Jacob Fleisher ’20, Pannos and Jalbert opened the meet with a ninth place finish (1:34.15). Wilson and Leech swam to twelth in the 1,000 free (9.43.14) and 100 backstroke (51.41), respectively. In the 100 butterfly, Pannos finished second in the consolation final, earning 10th place overall with a 50.32.
Starting off Sunday strong, Alec Wilson swam the 1,650 freestyle final in 16:36.75, good for 19th place. Kevin Santoro ’21 then touched the wall 15th in the 200 backstroke (1:53.61). In the 200 butterfly, Dowling took 13th with a time of 1:54.29. Closing out the weekend of competition, the 400 free relay squad of Pannos, Jalbert, Gaughan and Leech podiumed in eighth, stopping the clock in 3:06.36.
Next year, the women’s team will host their half of the NESCAC event.
The women’s swimming and diving team competed at Wesleyan in the 2019 NESCAC Championship from Thursday to Sunday, Feb. 14 to 17, where they placed eighth. Williams took the winning title for the sixth consecutive year, scoring 1,873 total points. Finishing second was Tufts with 1,439.5 points, followed by Amherst (1,322 points). The Panthers amassed 730 points, many of which came from Frances VanderMeer ’20.
VanderMeer claimed gold by .04 seconds in the 50-yard freestyle, sprinting to a victorious time of 23.55. Last winter, she was runner-up with a school-record-breaking performance. VanderMeer made the NCAA “B” standard for the second year in a row. She also earned All-NESCAC honors in the 50 backstroke, where she placed third and narrowly missed the school record.
The Panther relay teams acquired solid scores on Thursday and Friday. The 800-yard freestyle quartet of Kristin Karpowicz ’19, Audrey Hsi ’22, Angela Riggins ’19, and Grace Stimson ’19 secured eighth (7.43.32). Also scoring eighth was the 200 free relay of VanderMeer, Maddie McKean ’22, Stimson, and Erin Kelly ’21 (1:36.84), in addition to the 400-yard medley relay of VanderMeer, Kelly, McKean, and Hsi (3:57.83).
Notable individual performances included Hannah Wander ’22, who took 10th in the 50-yard breaststroke (30.82), and Karpowicz, who claimed seventh in the 500-yard free (5:01.47).
The Panthers continued their feats on Saturday, showing strong efforts in many of the individual events. The 200-yard medley relay team of Hsi, VanderMeer, Kelly, and McKean finished eighth in 1:46.7. Wander also took eighth in the 100 breastroke (1:07.1), stopping the clock just before Kelly, who swam to 13th in 1:07.83. In the 1,000 freestyle, Riggins touched the wall 10th (10:28.51). Karpowicz scored 11th in the 200 free (1:53.22), while Sarah McEachern ’21 swam the 400 individual medley in 4:42.38, earning 16th.
Ending her individual events on a high note, VanderMeer scored third in the 100 free, achieving another NCAA “B” cut mark with a time of 51.46. Runner-up in 2018, she made All-NESCAC honors for the second time in this event. Indicative of her impressive season as a whole, VanderMeer’s performance provided the Panthers with momentum heading into the rest of Sunday.
Riggins took 13th in the 1,650 freestyle, completing the 66 laps in 17:38.01. In the 200 breastroke final, Hannah Wander and Kelly took 11th (2:26.74) and 12th (2:26.88), respectively.
On the diving boards, Olivia Rieur claimed ninth in both the one- and three-meter events, accumulating 343.85 points. Following closely behind in 10th place was Mary Cate Carroll ’21, scoring 335.15 points.
Closing out the final day of competition, the 400 freestyle relay quartet of VanderMeer, Stimson, Hsi, and Karpowicz finished eighth in 3:30.74.
Overall, the Panthers uncapped the majority of their potential in this year’s NESCAC Championship, conquering record-breaking times, attaining personal successes, and winning several individual titles. This weekend, Feb. 22–24, the men’s team host their half of NESCACs in the Natatorium.
Throughout the second half of Winter Term, the swim and dive teams competed in their final meets before the NESCAC Championship. On Saturday, Jan. 26, the Panthers faced Hamilton and Williams. The following weekend, they hosted Williams and the University of Vermont at the Middlebury Invitational.
According to Kristen Karpowitz ’19, the team hopes to score higher than last year at NESCACs. It previously placed seventh and is capable of placing closer to fifth this year.
“By our dual-meet results, we definitely can beat some teams that we lost to last year,” Karpowitz said.
In their last dual meet, the swim and dive teams bested Hamilton 222-77 on the women’s side and 212-66 on the men’s side. The teams lost to Williams, the women 171-122 and the men 164-110.
Audrey Hsi ’22, Frances VanderMeer ’20 and Grace Stimson ’19 continued their successful season with wins in their individual events at the tri-meet. Hsi and Vandermeer won the 100 backstroke (1:00.96) and 50 backstroke (27.46) respectively, while Stimson claimed the 100 individual medley in 1:02.74.
Both the men’s and women’s 200 free relay teams beat the Ephs and Continentals to the wall. On the women’s side, VanderMeer, Maddie McKean ’22, Courtney Gantt ’22 and Erin Kelly ’21 stopped the clock first in 1:39.86. The men’s squad of Corey Jalbert ’21, Jake Gaughan ’22, Bryan Chang ’22 and Brendan Leech ’19 won in 1:27.56. On the diving boards, Mike Chirico ’20 triumphed in both the one-meter (267.75) and three-meter (271.75) events.
The swim and dive teams had further opportunity to get ready for NESCACs in the annual Middlebury Invitational, hosted on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 1 and 2. In this unscored meet, the Panthers captured multiple event victories over the Ephs and the Catamounts.
The women’s team secured six event titles. Erin Kelly ’21 was pivotal in four of them. Individually, she took both the 50 freestyle (24.83) and the 100 breaststroke (1:07.89). She also accompanied VanderMeer, McKean and Hsi in the 200 medley relay, which finished first in 1:48.16. McKean, Kelly, Audrey Kelly ’21 and VanderMeer then sprinted through the 400 free relay, out-touching the rest of the competition in 3:37.07.
Other winning efforts came from VanderMeer in the 100 backstroke (59.88) and Karpowitz in the 400 individual medley (4:38.89). Diver Olivia Rieur was runner-up in both the one-meter (381.00 points) and three-meter (396.23 points) events.
The men’s team claimed the opening event: Jalbert, Leech, Chang and Will Pannos ’20 finished the 200 free relay first in 1:26.35. The 400-yard medley relay of Kevin Santoro ’21, Cody Kim ’22, Jack Dowling ’19 and Gaughan also triumphed with a time of 3:34.51.
Max Sassi ’22 excelled in his individual events, winning the 50 free (22.18) and 100 free (49.21). Additional wins came from Pannos in the 200-yard individual medley (1:57.10), Morgan Matsuda ’19 in the 100 breaststroke (59.95) and Santoro in the 100 backstroke (53.31). In the diving events, Chirico again sweeped both boards, taking the one-meter title with 481.73 points and the three-meter win with 482.18 points.
Bolstered by these victories, the Panthers are approaching the rest of their season with confidence. Karpowitz noted, “The team is trying to keep our morale up and work together and make sure that we’re getting all the little things right in the last few days of practice to fully feel rested and ready to go for the meet this weekend.”
This weekend, Feb. 15-17, the women head to Wesleyan for their NESCAC Championship. Middlebury will host the NESCAC Men’s Swimming & Diving Championship in the natatorium the following weekend, Feb. 22-24.
On the road last Saturday, the swimming and diving teams conquered Union by an overwhelming 194-87 on the women’s side and 190-76 on the men’s side.
The women’s team beat Union to the wall in 11 out of the 15 events that day. The 200 medley relay quartet of Frances Vandermeer ’20, Erin Kelly ’21, Maddie McKean ’22 and Audrey Hsi ’22 started the meet with a winning time of 1:52.73. The four competitors also collected individual wins in their respective events. Vandermeer claimed the 100 backstroke (1:00.41) and 100 freestyle (55.27). In the 100 breastroke, Kelly triumphed with a 1:11.38. Hsi sprinted to first in the 50 freestyle, swimming 25.74. Finally, McKean flew through the 100 butterfly to win in 1:00.94.
Other top scoring finishes came from Jessica Lipton ’20 in the 200 butterfly (2:18.16), Hannah Wander ’22 in the 200 breaststroke (2:35.12), Georgia Houde ’20 in the 500 freestyle (5:23.73), and Grace Stimson ’19 in the 200 individual medley (2:14.79).
To end the successful day, the 200 free relay squad of Courtney Gantt ’22, Erin Kelly, Audrey Kelly ’21 and McKean stopped the clock at 1:42.58, beating Union by several seconds.
The men’s side saw similar results, dominating 12 out of the 15 events. The 200-meter medley relay team of Brendan Leech ’19, Bryan Chang ’22, Will Pannos ’20 and Jake Gaughan ’22 won in 1:40.75, immediately putting Middlebury ahead of the Dutchmen. From there, the Panthers kept building momentum.
Morgan Matsuda ’19 totaled three wins in the 200 freestyle (1:47.89), 200 breaststroke (2:13.79), and 200 individual medley (2:02.33), while Corey Jalbert ’21 out-touched the rest of the pool in both the 50 free (22.30) and 100 free (49.44).
Four other swimmers also claimed their individual events: Leech in the 100 backstroke (54.56), Cody Kim ’22 in the 100 breaststroke (1:02.07), Kevin Santoro ’21 in the 200 backstroke (2:01.80) and Aska Matsuda ’22 in the 500 free (4:53.01). Diver Mike Chirico ’20 was victorious in the three-meter event, scoring 270.98 points.
The 200 free relay team of Keegan Pando ’21, Alex Corda ’20, Leech and Gaughan earned the final points of the day, capping off the meet with a 1:29.72 win.
Before the championship season begins, the Panthers look to secure a couple more wins and fine tune technique. “We’re trying to mimic races in practice and make ourselves feel fast,” Leech said.
“We’re really hoping to move up at the end-of-season NESCAC meet. Looking ahead, we’re really focused on getting strong times to feel good about heading into NESCACs. We have a very large class of first-years who have been working hard all season, and we’re excited to see what we can do at the end of the season,” he continued.
The Panthers return to the Natatorium this weekend, where they will host Hamilton and Williams in their final dual meets of the season.
The swim and dive teams began their second semester with a home meet against Colby on Saturday, Jan. 12. The women conquered Colby with a 204-95 score, while the men were defeated 167-131. The Panthers hosted Bates the following day, falling 163.5-130.5 on the women’s side and 192-102 on the men’s side.
The women’s team won 14 out of the 16 events against the Colby Mules. The 200-yard medley relay team consisting of Audrey Hsi ’22, Erin Kelly ’21, Maddie McKean ’22 and Frances VanderMeer ’20 opened the meet with a win, finishing with a time of 1:50.8. Hsi continued her winning streak with individual victories in the 100 butterfly (59.81), 100 backstroke (1:01.08) and the 100 individual medley (1:02.55).
Alongside Hsi, Kristin Karpowicz ’19, Hannah Wander ’22 and VanderMeer each secured two first place finishes. Karpowicz swam the 1,000-yard freestyle in 10:49.15 and then went 55.87 in the 100 free. Wander claimed the title in both the 50 breaststroke (32.44) and 100 breaststroke (1:10.35), while VanderMeer won the 50 back (27.68) and the 50 fly (26.14). Courtney Gantt triumphed in the 50 free (25.36), then joined McKean, Kelly and VanderMeer to win the 200-yard free relay in 1:40.16. Divers Kacey Hertan ’20 and Mary Cate Carroll ’21 captured wins in the 1-meter and 3-meter diving events, respectively, with Hertan scoring 228.45 and Carroll scoring 219.98 points.
The men’s team also saw success in the lanes and on the boards. The 200-yard medley relay team of Brendan Leech ’19, Cody Kim ’22, Will Pannos ’20 and Corey Jalbert ’21 out-touched Colby by 0.01 seconds, winning with a time of 1:37.64. The 200-yard freestyle relay of Jalbert, Pannos, Jake Gaughan ’22 and Leech ended the day with a first place finish (1:27.99).
Individually, Pannos triumphed in the 100 butterfly (53.46), while Mike Chirico ’20 won the 1-meter (243.40 points) and the 3-meter diving events (242.18 points). Runner-up finishes included Charles Quinn ’20 in the 50 backstroke (25.46) and 100 individual medley (54.95), as well as Kim in the 50 breastroke (27.43) and 100 breastroke (1:00.28).
The Panthers fared another day of competition against Bates. Although the 25th-ranked Bobcats attained an overall win, the swim and dive teams earned several individual victories.
VanderMeer and Hsi again dominated their events, claiming the 50 free (24.81) and 400 individual medley (4:43.13), respectively. Alongside VanderMeer and Hsi, Kelly and McKean won the 200-yard medley relay, stopping the clock in 1:50.57. Riggins went the distance by winning the 1,650 free in 18:14.28. Karpowicz conquered the 500 free in 5:17.96. Hertan again scored her second 1 meter event title of the weekend, tallying 215.4 points. Olivia Rieur ’22 took the 3-meter title with 235.28 points.
The Panthers were bolstered by numerous second place finishes, including Kelly in the 100 breastroke (1:09.87) and the 200 breastroke (2:33.11). VanderMeer was runner-up in the 100 free (54.73), then ended the day by placing second in the 200-yard free relay with McKean, Kelly and Gantt (1:39.66).
On the men’s side, Aska Matsuda ’22 won the distance events, finishing in 16.56.20 for the 1,650 free and 4:54.13 in the 500 free. Chirico again achieved titles on both the 1-meter (255.83 points) and 3-meter boards (260.70 points).
Four swimmers claimed second in their events: Leech in the 100 backstroke (53.64), Zack Einhorn ’21 in the 200 butterfly (2:01.30), Gaughan in the 50 free (22.33), and Kevin Santoro ’21 in the 200 back (2:00.80).
Both relay teams secured runner-up finishes, including the 200 -yard medley relay team of Leech, Kim, Pannos and Jalbert (1:37.79), and the 200-yard free relay team of Gaughan, Jalbert, Pannos and Leech (1:28.12).
The Panthers head to Union this Saturday, Jan.19, where they hope to see major team success.
The Middlebury swim and dive teams opened their 2018-19 season on Nov. 17 with an away meet against Connecticut College. Both the men’s and women’s teams fell to the Camels by 163-99 and 175-119, respectively. The following day, the Panthers traveled to Tufts, where they were defeated by 168-89 on the men’s side and 167-116 on the women’s side.
The women’s team claimed three individual victories against Connecticut College. First-year Audrey Hsi won the 200 backstroke in 2:12.57, out-touching teammate Emma Borrow ’22, who finished second in 2:12.75. Hsi also snatched a win in the 200 individual medley, swimming 2:14.46. In the 500 freestyle, Kristin Karpowicz ’19 claimed first place, finishing in 5:16.56.
Runner-up swims included Angela Riggins ’19 in the 1,000 free (11:11.12), Ellie Thompson ’22 in the 100 butterfly (1:01.80), and Erin Kelly ’21 in both the 100 and 200 breastroke (1:11.56 and 2:36.49). Borrow, Kelly, Hsi and Maddie McKean ’22 swam the 200 medley relay, claiming second with a time of 1:52.48.
The Panther men also took three individual wins. Jack Dowling ’19 whipped through the 200 butterfly in 2:00.69 and finished second in the 100 fly (54.35). Corey Jalbert ’21 won the 50 freestyle in 22.29, then took second in the 100 free (48.94). Charles Quinn ’20 claimed the 200 individual medley (2:02.04), then placed second in the 100 backstroke (55.18).
Other second place individual finishes came from Aska Matsuda ’22 in the 1,000 free (10:14.94) and Cody Kim ’22 in both the 100 breaststroke (1:01.42) and 200 breaststroke (2:15.44). The 200-yard free relay of Jalbert, Bryan Chang ’22 , Keegan Pando ’21 and Brendan Leech ’19 finished second, stopping the clock in 1:29.29.
The women’s diving squad dominated the field in the one meter event. Olivia Rieur ’22 won with 210.07 points, while teammate Mary Cate Carroll ’21 took second with 205.57 points.
In their second meet of the season against Tufts, both the men’s and women’s teams earned another trio of individual event victories.
On the women’s side, Riggins won the 500-yard freestyle (5:24.92), while Maddie McKean claimed the 50 butterfly in 27.25. Karpowicz was first to the wall in the 200 individual medley title with a time of 2:19.57. The winning 400 free relay team of McKean, Hsi, Courtney Gantt ’22 and Kelly finished in 3:46.44.
Second-place efforts came from Thompson in the 200 IM (2:20.04), Sarah McEachern ’21 in the 500 free (5:30.69), Borrow in the 50 fly in 28.60, and Karpowicz ended in the 1,000-yard freestyle (11:03.10).
Divers Kacey Hertan ’20 and Rieur took first and second in the three meter event, earning 205.80 points and 201.52 points, respectively.
The men’s team managed victories in the same events. Matsuda won the 500 freestyle, Dowling finished first in the 50 butterfly (24.85), and Quinn claimed the 200 IM (2:07.36).
Second place finishes came from Max Eihausen ’22 in the 500 free (5:10.82), Kim during the 200 IM (2:07.72) and Alex Corda ’20 in the 50 fly (24.93).
The Panthers capped off their weekend with a win in the 400 free relay. The team of Jalbert, Chang, Pando and Leech stopped the clock in 3:20.69.
Next up, the swim and dive teams face Amherst in the Natatorium on Dec. 1.