February 6, 2014
Hamilton College’s senior swimmers and divers competed in the Senior Recognition meet on Feb. 1 against Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). While both teams still have a couple meets remaining, this last opportunity to race in a head-to-head match at Bristol Pool this season brought out the best in numerous Hamilton athletes.
The women’s team emerged victorious, 159-131, with Maggie Rosenbaum ’14 stealing the show. Rosenbaum, one of the most decorated swimmers in Hamilton history, added to her ledger by setting a new Bristol Pool record in the 100 meter butterfly with a time of 55.41 seconds.
Despite her personal success, Rosenbaum deflected attention towards the win and the progress the young women’s team has made this season. “The team has had an incredible season so far,” she praises. “From the beginning of the season, everyone has been working hard and that…has resulted in fantastic swims from so many of our women.”
Other individual winners included Sarah Hooper ’16 in the 50 free, Allie Reeder ’14 in the 50 back, McKenna Kelly ’15 in the 200 and 1,000 free and Sarah Dempsey ’14 in the 50 fly and 200 individual medley. Dempsey, one of four senior co-captains, noted how well the team has integrated its multitude of new members.
“This year our women’s team alone took on 11 new first-year and transfer students, so the fact that almost half of our team was new to college swimming was a challenge in itself,” remarks Dempsey. “But with that being said, I think that the way in which we have come together as a cohesive unit is also one of our most impressive collective accomplishments. I am especially proud of our freshmen for stepping up to swim some of the most difficult events when we were going into a handful of close match-ups this year; there are some great future team leaders who will emerge from that class.”
The men’s team was not as fortunate, as they dropped a 196-104 decision to RPI. Reid Swartz ’15 led the way for the Continentals, winning both the 50 and 100 back races. Swartz also swam the first leg of the 400 medley relay team that squeaked out first by .04 seconds with a time of 3:39.14. Alex Jones ‘16, Luke Jeton ‘17 and Conor Collins ‘14 followed Swartz to round out the relay team.
Swartz believes the team has largely fulfilled its preseason goals. “I think that the team as a whole has lived up to expectations,” he asserts. “We had some disappointing performances, but we learned from each loss and improved significantly as the season went on. Beating our rival Wesleyan was a great achievement and confidence booster going into NESCACs, especially since they are likely to be closest to us in the team standings.”
Collins is another swimmer looking forward to the NESCAC and Division III championships, rather than reflecting on his and the team’s accomplishments thus far. “I am excited for the team to see some major time drops at NESCACs—we worked hard all season, and now we are due to turn some heads on both an individual and team level!” he says.
Both teams will participate in the upcoming NESCAC championships after a multi-week layoff. The women’s meets are scheduled for Feb. 14-16, while the men’s meets will occur from Feb. 21-23.