Both men’s and women’s Swimming won their first meets, making them undefeated as they prepare for home meets on Friday November 4th against Randolph-Macon College at 4:00 p.m. and Saturday November 5th against Goucher College at 1 p.m.
Junior Joanna Purich explained the nature of swim meets:“First, there’s a relay with four people on each relay team. Then, I believe there are 10 different individual events, and then at the end we have another relay.”
Both teams swam against Catholic before swimming against Hood College and Marymount in a tri-meet. Sophomore Hanna Rizkallah described tri-meets simply by saying, “Usually we have dual meet, so it’s just two teams competing, but in this case there were three teams competing”
Sophomore Claire Huckenpoehler explained one thing she did not like about tri-meets, saying, “Tri wasn’t an ideal situation because not everyone got a chance to swim because there were only two lanes to swim per team instead of three.”
However, the possibility of all the girls swimming in a meet is slim considering the size of the team. Purich commented saying, “We have tons and tons of girls so not everyone gets to swim, but it also makes us more competitive and helps us to be better.” Likewise, the men’s team has a lot more men than usual, Purich said, “With all the freshman that have come in, the guy’s team is almost a full team.”
Purich, Rizkallah, and Huckenpoehler all mentioned the importance of first-years on the team, with Rizkallah specifically saying, “We have a lot of good freshman, a lot of good fresh talent, and we all came together as a team with the new freshman.” Rizkallah was happy with the team’s morale saying, “We all were really good at getting up and cheering when other people were swimming.”
The Freshman on the women’s team did place well. In Even in events where other St. Mary’s students placed first, a first year often placed second. First year Brooke Raab picked up three wins for the team in events including the 100 butterfly and the 200 Freestyle. Another First year, Kelsey Abernathy, came in second behind Raab in the 100 Butterfly. Elaina Kohles, another freshman, placed third in the 100 Freestyle.
Likewise Freshmen on the men’s team contributed to an impressive showing. First year Ben Immink came in second in the 200 freestyle after Junior Billy DeBoissiere. Jackson Holden, another first year, came in second in 500 Freestyle. Dylan Cope ’15 also placed second in the 100 backstroke and the 1000 freestyle.
However, like most athletic events, there usually is something to work on in practice. Even with their undefeated record, Huckenpoehler said, “We had a good start but there are always things we need to work on.” Rizkallah said, “Our coach said our starts and turns could get better, so we need to still work as individuals, but as a whole I think we are pretty good.”
Rizkallah explained an advantage in the upcoming meets, saying, “I think we’ll do really well, we have home field advantage. You always do better at your home pool. And we have a really nice pool with plenty of space for teams to warm up and cool down, and I think that’s really important with swimming.”
All three swimmers seemed excited about the season, with Huckenpoehler saying, “It’s really positive, we’re all really motivated, we got a good group of people together.” Purich also commented, saying, “It’s still really early in the season, and people were swimming really good times, so we’ve got a lot of good potential this year.”