Swimming knocks opponents out of the water

By Daphne Assimakopoulos ’17

For the last month, snow has fallen by the foot and temperatures have plummeted. However, not even the blistering cold could hold back the steadfast athletes on the men’s and women’s swim teams.

After a few days of break, both teams were back in the water training. On Jan. 4, both Hamilton teams defeated Wesleyan Univesity. The women beat the Cardinals 130 to 109, and the men took the victory  141.5 to 89.5.

The women claimed first place in seven events, with Maggie Rosenbaum ’14 and Sarah Hooper ’16 leading the charge. Hooper took the top spot in both the 50- and 100-meter freestyle. Rosenbaum won the 100 backstroke and 200 individual medley.

Molly Ferguson ’14 and Sarah Dempsey ’14 also brought home a pair of first-place finishes. Dempsey came out on top in the 200 butterfly, and Ferguson claimed the 3 meter diving.

The 400 yard freestyle relay comprised on Elizabeth Barry ’17, Hannah Mooney ’17, McKenna Kelly ’15 and Allie Reeder ’14, who beat out the Wesleyan women by a margin of two seconds and a time of 3:38:72.

The Hamilton men dominated as well, taking first place finishes in nine events. Three Continentals claimed two first place finishes each. John McBratney ’16  won the 200 and 500 free, and Reid Swartz won the 200 individual medley and 200 backstroke. Remi Levinson ’17 won both diving events.

The 400 free relay team comprised of Conor Collins ’14, Andrew McWhirter ’15, Fumi Asaga ’14 and McBratney ’16, who crushed the Cardinals with a time of 3:20:17, nine seconds faster than their Wesleyan opponents.

A few days after their valiant efforts against Wesleyan, the Continentals traveled to Islamorada, Florida for the Founders Invitational swim meet.

“Our Florida training trip was a challenging week,” said Ben Fields ’15, “but we had a blast as a team.  It was an excellent opportunity for us to get closer, in and out of the pool. Beating Wesleyan was the boost we needed heading into Florida.”

Under a sunny sky, Hamilton swam alongside Colorado College and Colby-Sawyer College in a non-scoring relay meet. Hamilton came out on top in both diving competitions and five out of eight events.

Molly Ferguson ’14 and Remi Levinson ’17 won the diving events, with 177.65 points and 162.5 points respectively.

Hamilton also finished first in the crescendo freestyle relay, in which the first competitor swims 50 meters, the second swims 100, the the third, 150, and the final, 200. The relay team was powered by Genevieve Caffrey ’17,  Ben Fields  ’15, McKenna Kelly ’15 and  Scott Becker ’17.

After a week of warmth and beautiful Florida weather, the Continentals returned to the Hill a much more tight-knit team.  As Levinson notes, the success of the diving team has been accompanied by improved team chemistry. “The diving team is a group of great people,” said Levinson. “I’ve gotten very close to the team and have grown tremendously as a diver. Our coach, Jim Ray, has been at Hamilton for 10 years, and has helped each of us grow remarkably this season.”

On Jan. 18, both the men and women dominated the Rochester Institute of Technology in a convincing victory at the Bristol Pool, for their second dual meet win in a row. The women won 132 to 11, and the men won 135 to 97.

Rosenbaum ’14 and Kelly ’15 won another two individual events each at this meet. Rosenbaum excelled once again in her specialty event, the 200  backstroke.

She beat out all the competition by nine seconds.

Kelly ’15 overpowered all her opponents in both the 500 and 1,000 freestyle events. Hooper ’16 earned the top spot in the 100 freestyle by less than a second with a time of 55:19.

The men almost had a clean sweep of number-one finishes, winning 10 out of 11 events. Ryan Cassidy ’17 won the 1,000 freestyle and 200 breaststroke. John McBratney ’16 took the 200 and 500 freestyle, in addition to anchoring the 200 free relay.

Cassidy commented that “we opened the meet with the medley relay, that we won pretty handily and that really helped build momentum. Going into the 1000 I felt like I wanted to keep the energy up”.

Reid Swartz ’15 continued his successful season, coming out on top in the 200 yard individual medley and the 200 yard backstroke. He beat out his competition by at least three seconds in both events.

Levinson commented, “As for the team, we are preparing for the NESCACs...we have some very strong swimmers and we have nowhere but forward to go.”

The Continentals currently have a record of 2-5 this season. The swimmers are looking to add another win to their tally this Saturday, Jan. 25, in Schenectady, NY.


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