By EVAN HICKS
In their biggest meet of the year to date, the University of Mary Washington men’s and women’s swim teams found themselves suffering homecoming day defeats. Last Saturday, Oct. 21, the Eagles faced Washington & Lee University in their second home dual meet, as the men fell to the Generals 170-92 and the women lost 162-100.
“I think it showed us that we have a lot of things to improve on, both in the water and on the pool deck,” Head Coach Abby Brethauer said. “I think there’s nothing more frustrating than having a team come in and treat your pool like their home pool, like they own it, and that’s what they did to us today.”
Both teams were extremely energized before the meet. Washington & Lee kicked off the meet with a booming group shout, and not to be outdone, Mary Washington squad let out their own team battle cry. The cry lasted several seconds and featured the entire team, locked arm-in-arm in a circle, swaying back and forth as they screamed their team chant and fired each other up for the meet.
The Eagles won several events, including the men’s 200 inter medley relay. Both senior Billy Norfolk and freshman Alex Anderson had impressive showings, as Norfolk won the 200 fly with a time of 1:56.36 and Anderson had victories in both the 200 freestyle and the 200 breaststroke.
For the women, sophomore Jessica Singer finished the 1000 freestyle in 11:07.03 to take first place and junior Lindsay Ancellotti won the 500 freestyle with a 5:22.65 time. Sophomore Amber Kerico and senior Megan DeSmit also won races, with Kerico taking first in the 200 breaststroke and DeSmit beating out the field in the 200 freestyle.
Unfortunately, the Eagles lacked the depth necessary to bring in the points they needed to stay in the running. In event after event, a single Eagle would be near the front of the pack, but with no teammates near, leaving them alone to fend off two or three Washington & Lee swimmers.
“There starts were good,” Brethauer said. “I think they were a little sloppy getting in and out of their walls. I think more so than that, being on your feet and cheering and being ready. It’s our biggest meet of the year and we faltered under that pressure. I think we really need to reassess where we are.”
The swimmers’ outlook coincided with their coach, as they also saw room for improvement.
“I feel like we had slow start to the meet, a little bit,” Norfolk said. “Once we got together after the first break, we really started coming together after that. We started cheering. Next meet, we’re going to be up the entire time. First meet, people were sitting down, stuff like that. Next meet, everyone’s going to be losing their voice.”
The swim teams will have until Nov. 4 to prepare for their next meet and tighten up the necessary areas. That weekend, the Eagles will travel to York College of Pennsylvania to compete against the Spartans and Hood College.