By ZACH ROBBINS
The men’s and women’s swim teams both defeated Franklin & Marshall College on Friday night in two separate one-sided meets. Both teams opened up the meet hot, winning 11 of the first 12 events on the men’s side and 10 of the first 12 on the women’s side.
The men went on to win 173-84, improving to 3-0-1, while the Lady Jays remained undefeated at 4-0 with a 156-101 victory over the previously unbeaten Diplomats.
The Jays had a big challenge on their hands because the they trained unusually hard throughout the week to test their ability to swim while heavily fatigued. Both teams were clearly able to overcome this because many swimmers posted impressive times.
“I thought the team did really well considering that we were coming off a tough week of training and school, and everyone was very supportive and energetic. It was definitely a fun meet,” sophomore Kaitlin Jones, who won both the 100 Fly and 100 Free for the women, said. “We will continue to work hard and stay determined and focused on our goals of swimming fast at the end of the season and have fun doing so. We all enjoy watching each other swim fast at the end of the season and see all the hard work pay off.”
The meet was a great opportunity for the two teams to work on the small things in the pool and become better prepared for the tougher meets that are approaching with the heavy part of the season.
“I think that we did great as a team on Friday night,” sophomore Jan Hagemeister, who took home the titles in both the 50 Back and 50 Fly, said. “Since our big mid-season meet is coming up in just over two weeks, we were working on race takeout and the details like starts, turns and underwaters. We are still in a heavy training phase and it makes sense to be tired right now but when we start resting in preparation for the Kenyon Total Performance Invitational early December we will feel great.”
Many of the Jays attribute their early-season success to a rigorous practice schedule.
“We have done a great job keeping the intensity up during practice, which can be challenging during 6 a.m. practices,” Hagemeister said. “The goal is to train the way we race and creating a positive work environment where we strive for excellence really helps get everyone going.”
Despite the tougher conditions the Jays faced, the meet wasn’t all business with no play. There were some unusual events on the night as well as a lot of energy coming from the teams.
”We swam some different events, including a hilarious kicking relay, and had a lot of fun as a team,” junior Abby Brown said. “This meet was a lot about setting ourselves up to rest and swim well in a couple weeks, but a lot of people put up some great times. This meet showed that we can be successful while swimming through fatigue and soreness, which makes me extremely excited to see what we can do as a team this season.”
Brown was on the first place finishing 600 Medley Relay team and placed second in the final event, the 50 Fly, for the women’s team.
Another highlight of the meet came from freshman Erik Bostrom, who finished first in two events. Bostrom led the charge in the 1000 Free, finishing in 9:53.15 as well as the 500 Free with a time of 4:46.57.
“I owe such much credit to my teammates and coaches, who are constantly pushing me to achieve my best every day at practice,” the Scarsdale, N.Y. native said. “Without them I definitely wouldn’t be swimming as fast as I am in the middle of the season. My main goal before I swim is to always to relax and not worry about my time. Instead, I push myself to the limit in order to swim the hardest I can for my teammates and myself.”
Both teams are off until Kenyon College’s annual Total Performance Invitational Dec. 3-5.
“In the short term, the Total Performance Invitational is our focus,” Brown said. “It is a chance to see what we can do after only a couple months of intense training. It is our goal to have as many swimmers as possible achieve times that could get them invited to the NCAA championships in March.”