Men's and women's swimming & diving make a splash at Hamilton College Invitational

By Caitlin O'Connor '14

Maggie Rosenbaum ’14 wasn’t the only Continental making waves in the pool this weekend, as underclassmen joined her in the Continentals’ first place finishes in nearly two dozen events. This weekend, the Hamilton men’s and women’s swim teams hosted the 2012 Hamilton Invitational at Bristol Pool against Worchester Polytechnic Institute and NESCAC opponent Trinity College.

The women’s team came out on top of the pack, beating Worchester by over 100 points throughout three sessions in the two-day meet. While normal meets occur over one day and contain only 26 events (13 male, 13 female) in total, the Invitational consisted of 3 sessions and 22 additional events, ranging from 50-yard sprints in each of the strokes to the grueling mile. “I was so impressed with the freshmen this past weekend,” said Rosenbaum. “Surviving a two-day meet with three sessions is no easy feat, and they handled it like veterans.”

Rosenbaum, two-time national champion, led the Continentals, winning all six individual events in which she competed. While winning is never unusual for Rosenbaum, her speedy performance in the 100 fly did come as a surprise —her swim was just two one-hundredths of a second off the school record, set by none other than her sister Whitney Rosenbaum ’10.

For some families, this kind of performance would initiate some sort of sibling rivalry, yet the Rosenbaums remain loyal fans of each other. “After the meet we both just giggled about it,” said Rosenbaum. “I love looking up at the record board and seeing two Rosenbaum names up there. Not many people get to have that kind of experience with a sibling.”
With the loss of freestyle phenom Megan Gibbons ’12, there was some fear that the hole in the roster would impact the 2012 season. On Saturday, the tandem of McKenna Kelly ’15 and Sarah Hooper ’16 proved they could fill her shoes, with Kelly sweeping the long-distance events and Hooper putting up top three finishes in the 50 and 100 free.

At the other end of the pool, senior diver Diane Paverman (pictured left) secured a second place finish in both springboard events, while breaking her own personal team record with 429.45 points on the 1-meter. This score was also high enough to qualify her for a NCAA regional diving meet in early March.

While the men fell second to Worchester Polytechnic Institute, standout performances by Taylor Hogenkamp ’13 and Reid Swartz ’15 show signs of a strong season ahead. Senior captain Hogenkamp posted two wins in the 100 and 200 free and was only runner-up to teammate Swartz at the 50 yard distance.

Hogenkamp not only leads in the pool, but out of it as well. “The team’s greatest strength this season is its leaders,” said Swartz. “The captains are great guys who work hard and keep the rest of the team focused and prepared for competition.  Their dedication sets an example for the rest of the team to follow.”

In addition to impressive performances in backstroke, Swartz pulled out a win by almost two seconds in the 400 IM, an event he had never swum before this weekend. “I exceeded the expectations that coach Davis and I had for the race,” said Swartz, who also achieved the eighth fastest time in Hamilton history for the same event.

The men’s top five finish at NESCACs last winter was their best performance in seven years, yet Swartz is setting the bar even higher for the 2012 season. “I think that the team will have a much better season than we did last year,” said Swartz. “Our meet against Union near the end of the season will be the most exciting. They are one of our biggest rivals and we have a pretty good shot at victory this year.” 

Both teams are off for winter break but will resume competition in January, travelling to Wesleyan for their first NESCAC dual meet of the season. While the rest of the Hamilton community may be lounging around over the holidays, the Continentals will still be putting in thousands of yards in the pool. 

“We have had a great start, so we need to keep our heads down and keep working,” said Rosenbaum. “I am so proud of the freshman class and love being a part of this team. If we do the work, the racing will take care of itself.”


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