By SHANE COUGHLIN
Senior Staff Writer
The Hopkins men’s and women’s swim teams opened their seasons with a successful weekend at the annual Thomas Murphy Invitational. The women’s team went 2-0 with victories over both the Loyola University Maryland Greyhounds and the Boston College Eagles, while the men’s team bested the Greyhounds and tied the Eagles.
“At this point in the season we have been training for two months but know little about what type of racing condition the team is in,” junior Evan Holder said. “This meet was a chance to get a reading on what type of shape we are in and how to more forward towards our mid-season meet.”
“I think the biggest thing theme from this weekend is the ‘all-in’ mentality that Coach [George Kennedy] has preached since the beginning of the year,” junior Andy Greenhalgh said. “Our relays were great because the swimmers were all into their races and beating the guys next to them, and our team was all into cheering them on.”
The women’s team posted an impressive 397.5 points in their two matches in the process of winning 15 of 18 events. Sophomore Anna Wisniewski, the school record holder in the 200 IM, won three individual events in addition to contributing to the 400 medley relay, which Hopkins won by over four seconds.
Also part of the medley relay team were fellow sophomores Kaitlin Jones and Gwynnie LaMastra, who later finished first and second in the 200 IM. To close out the first day, the 800 free relay team of Jones, freshman Emily Cheng, freshman Rabia Syed and sophomore Courtney Cowan took first with another Hopkins team consisting of LaMastra, junior Kristen Kaiser, freshman Julia Pacitti and sophomore Sarah Fauska, finishing in third place 15 seconds later.
Wisniewski, Jones, Cowan and LaMastra continued their weekend dominance to open day two with two victories, first in the 200 free relay and then the 400 IM. Cheng took second in the 100 fly with junior Abby Brown close behind. Brown finished third two seconds later at 59.34.
LaMastra tacked on an individual win in the 100 breaststroke and Brown took the top spot in the 200 fly to close individual events.
“I think that as our first official meet of the season, we demonstrated that we had a good team atmosphere and a full support system from every teammate,” LaMastra said. “We still have a long way to go before we reach our midseason meet at Kenyon in December, but with the amount of effort we put into every day and every practice, I can see our team doing great things at the end of the year.”
Juniors Andy Greenhalgh and Evan Holder took two individual wins each as part of a nine of 18 spread.
Holder notched his first win in 1:53.71 in the 200 IM and his second in the 200 free while also contributing to a win in the 400 medley relay and second-place finishes in both the 400 and 200 free relay teams.
Greenhalgh started his meet with a 4:35.40 victory in the 500 free with sophomore teammate Kyle Otazu in second. Greenhalgh was also part of a victory in the 800 free relay and the 1650 free.
“Even though the meet resulted in a win and tie against D-I competition, we still have some work to do before we rest,” Holder said.
“Individually we had some great swims from where we are at right now. For people who didn’t have the swims they wanted, they know that the work they have put in will pay off eventually because Coach has prepared us to do great things,” Greenbalgh said. “Overall it was great to walk away defeating and tying two quality division I programs while getting a chance to gauge where we are at this point in the season.”
The Jays still have a substantial amount of time to prepare for the meets that will really matter this season, but this early test was very encouraging for the squad. Both the men’s and women’s teams are perennial powers and once again expected to be very competitive this year.
Up next for the Jays is a trip to Glassboro, N.J. where both teams will take on Rowan College at 11 a.m.