After three days of Capital Athletic Conference Swimming Championships, both the men and women’s teams finished a strong second behind Mary Washington.
Senior Joanna Purich Senior expressed her pride in the team saying, “It was a little hard this year because a lot of people got sick right before champs, but everyone really stepped up.” Senior Dirk Rousseau added, “It’s great that both teams are in a strong second place, and we’ve set a lot of records.”
Many St. Mary’s students set records during their events. On the first day Kelly Heyde won the 200 individual medley, an event she has won every year she has been swimming for St. Mary’s. Even though the men’s team, represented by junior Jimmy Forest, senior Billy Deboissiere, sophomore Bobby Witkop, and senior Cameron Hedquist, placed second in the 400 medley relay, the team broke their own record for 2.12 seconds. Purich commented, saying, “It was definitely an exciting match overall, and it wasn’t just our team who broke records. It was also exciting to see a full men’s team and one that was taking it to the next level. This was the first time the men’s team has outscored the women’s team.”
Heyde continued to swim strong on the second day, where she became the four-time champion of another event, the 400 individual medley. She then anchored the 8oo freestyle relay, where she swam with first-year Zoe McIlmail, first-year Cara Machlin, and junior Erin O’Connor. They posted second, but swam 1.66 seconds faster than the previous year’s records.
During Preliminaries, Hedquist beat his previous record for the 200 freestyle by 11-hundreths of a second. DeBoissiere also broke a personal record in the 100 backstroke. But junior and spectator Nathan Brocenos explained a different part about the second day that he liked the best, saying, “On the 200 medley, Mary Washington got what I think was a national record, but then they got disqualified and St. Mary’s came in first.”
On the last day the teams regularly followed behind Mary Washington in the events. Sophomore Brooke Raab placed second in the 200 Backstroke while Hedquist placed second in the 100 freestyle. Heyde again held her title in the 200 Butterfly. Rousseau was proud of the men’s team, saying, “All men who swam the mile were in the top ten.” He added, “I out-touched a guy on the mile, it was pretty epic.”
The end of the season also represents what will be a transition for the swimming team.
Sophomore Coleen Walls reflected the event, saying, “Personally I feel accomplished in that I made the podium this year, but my favorite part was seeing the seniors receive their gifts Sunday night. We have a lot of seniors graduating this year, so it will be interesting to see how many freshmen next year will be interested.”
Rousseau also commented, saying, “It was fun to go out with a bang. It’s been a good four years with the team, and I’m looking forward to the alumni meet next year.” For more information about championship results, the St. Mary’s athletic website has information on every meet.