Swimming Breaks Records, Places Second

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.

Swimming Seahawks Splash Into CAC Championship Action

Senior Rachel Hotchko finished second in the 100-m freestyle during the CAC Championship meet, held at the College Valentine’s Day weekend. (Photo by Brendan O’Hara)
Senior Rachel Hotchko finished second in the 100-m freestyle during the CAC Championship meet, held at the College Valentine’s Day weekend. (Photo by Brendan O’Hara)

“Swimmers, take your mark” began the 2010 Capital Athletic Conference Men’s and Women’s Swimming Championships, hosted by the College on Valentine’s Day weekend.

St. Mary’s College of Maryland hosted the CAC championships for its fourth consecutive year, as athletes from the University of Mary Washington, York College, Hood College, Marymount University, Gallaudet University, Salisbury University and St. Mary’s attended the event.

The start of the Championships was pushed back to Friday evening, as Governor O’Malley declared Maryland to be in a State of Emergency, preventing non-emergency personnel from driving on the roads.  At 4 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 12, the Championships began timed finals, the first event that excluded individual preliminaries to correct for lost time.

The next two days consisted of preliminaries at 10 a.m. and finals at 6 p.m. on Saturday, and 5:30 p.m. on Sunday for both men and women events.  Friday’s event consisted of the 200-meter free relay, the 500-meter free, the 200-meter individual medley, the 50-meter free, and and lastly the 400-meter medley relay.

After these events, the St. Mary’s women’s team stood in third place after Mary Washington and Marymount Universities. Mary Washington won four of the five events. On Saturday there were seven events; the 200-meter medley relay, the 400-meter individual medley, the 100-meter fly, the 200-meter free, the 100-meter breaststroke, the 100-meter backstroke, and the 800-meter free medley. Mary Washington won four of these events, followed by the Seahawks winning two and Marymount winning the final event.

With wins in the 400 individual medley and the 100 butterfly, the St. Mary’s women’s team bumped Marymount out of second place.  The final six events, consisting of the 1650-meter free, the 200 back, the 100 free, the 200 breast, the 200 fly and the 400 free relay, took place on Sunday.

Overall, the St. Mary’s women’s team had their “highest point total ever,” reported Coach Andre Barbins, now in his 12th season with the Seahawks. Their score of 628.5 led them to coming in second to Mary Washington’s 926.5 points. Marymount came in third with 470 points, closely followed by York College. Salisbury, Gallaudet and Hood placed fifth, sixth and seventh, respectively.

The St. Mary’s fans enjoyed watching and supporting their swim teams. “I thought it was a well organized event with a very competitive atmosphere,” said first-year College student Marie Rau.  Second-year Katie Lackler appreciated “the support she saw between the teammates in every race, especially during the longer relays.” The St. Mary’s women’s swim team came together well throughout the season. “The seniors did a great job” and the “freshman really stepped up throughout the year,” said Coach Barbins. “The overall conference performance was great.”

Men’s swimming came in third place during the event for the second season in a row, besting Salisbury University by one point with a final score of 390.  First-place Mary Washington scored 984 points, followed by York College with 664.  Junior captain Jackson Webb set a school record for his 1:58.22 time in the 200 butterfly, and freshman Evan Wollman took first place in the 200 breaststroke to earn his first All-CAC award.

“I think we performed really well during champs.  We came out strong on day one and we were able to stay strong throughout the weekend,” said Aaron Page, a junior on the men’s swimming team.  “We know that everyone comes in swimming their best, but we are ready to swim with our best, too.

Both teams continue their seasons with last weekend’s Seahawk Invitational, their final meet before the NCAA division III Championships during the week of Mar. 17 in Minneapolis, MN.

Swim Team Makes Strong Strokes

First-year Troy Kent swam at Linganore High School. His strongest events include fly and freestyle (Photo by Brendan O’Hara).
First-year Troy Kent swam at Linganore High School. His strongest events include fly and freestyle (Photo by Brendan O’Hara).

The St. Mary’s Men’s and Women’s swimming teams have had a strong start this year; both the men and women have 1-0 conference records, beating Hood on November 8th. As of November 14, overall, the men’s team has a 1-1 record and the women’s team has a 2-1 record. The teams are looking forward to their meets and according to Head Coach Andre Barbins, “building] on their success and placing] higher in the conference.”

The teams faced Hood College and Catholic University on November 8th. The women’s team won against both, while the men’s team defeated Hood and lost against Catholic. On November 14th, the Lady Hawks squared off against Randolph Macon College, but lost 129-76. This past Saturday, November 15th, both teams raced against Washington College.

The swimming teams have been working very hard with rigorous preseason training. Coach Barbins said the teams have “good work ethic” and they “started off really well.” The swimmers have also commented on the intensity of their training and their preparedness for the season.

Sophomore Nico Pinto said, “We’re doing much better than last year and we’re ready for the championship.”

The swimming team also gained several new additions. Sophomore Kalvin Day, who joined this year said, he’s “looking forward to the season” and “everyone’s been getting along real well.”  Senior women’s captain Brie McDowell said that the bigger size of the team “makes us more competitive.” Coach Barbins also commented on the strong mix of senior class leaders and new swimmers.

The teams are not only strong in the water, but they are close outside of the pool as well. Both the men’s and women’s teams get together on the weekends and convene for meals which helps keep everyone committed and strong.

Although, things are looking up for the swimming teams, the teams are always looking to develop their abilities. Barbins said he wants the teams “to continue to get better cohesively.” Pinto also said the team has to have the “commitment to improve.”

Aside from near-weekly meets, the teams are preparing for their annual training trip to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. In the beginning of January, the teams travel to Florida for a week and a half for twice a day practices, competitions and invitationals. McDowell said it’s “a lot of fun, but you definitely have to be in the right mindset.”

On November 21st the teams have a home meet with Marymount University and Gallaudet University. Coach Barbins invited everyone to come out and cheer on the swimmers.

Like her teammates, McDowell is optimistic and said, “I’m really excited for the season. I think we’re going to do really well.”