The University of Mary Washington Swim Team had a victorious start of the season last Friday, defeating the Washington & Lee University Generals in their first Division III dual meet last Friday.
The team swam in the American University relays on Oct. 4 and competed against William and Mary on Oct. 12, but this event was their first at home.
Both the women’s and men’s teams began the meet with the 200 Medley Relay. Katie Fago, Amber Kerico, Hannah Hagy and Stephanie Hallock claimed wins for the women with a time of 1:51:78.
For the men’s team, Matt Garstka, Henry Bassett, Dan Tucker and Dallas Tarkenton celebrated victory with a time of 1:35:87.
Kerico, Hagy and Hallock also won the 100 and 200 breaststroke, the 50 and 100 freestyle and the 100 butterfly, respectively. Abby Cox was another two event winner, garnering wins in the 200 butterfly and 200 Individual Medley (IM).
Various swimmers won for the men’s team. Bassett, Garstka, Alex Anderson and Vance Solseth won the 400 freestlye, and Tyler Gimple, Bassett and Tucker all finished first in the 200 freestyle, 100 backstroke and 100 breaststroke, respectively.
Zach Eisig won the 1000 freestyle, Anderson won the 200 butterfly and Solseth won the 50 freestyle. In addition, Bassett won the 100 freestyle, Gimple the 500 freestlye, Anderson the 100 butterfly, and Tucker the 100 IM.
Overall, the men’s team defeated the Generals with a soaring 167-94 and the women’s team won 139-123.
Tarkenton, who is a new freshman addition to the Eagles, said swimming for the the team is both rewarding and challenging.
“It’s a totally new experience swimming in college and extremely difficult at times, but it’s great to have a supportive and exciting team,” he said.
Washington & Lee is UMW’s biggest division III competitor for both swim teams.
The meets against the Generals in the past tended to be very close. Last year the women’s team lost by four points.
The team is very confident about the rest of the season. Senior Captain Catherine Perrin said, “We are trying to send at least 16 people to conferences this year and we have a very solid team, so winning them won’t be too much of a problem.”
Tarkenton is also looking forward to the rest of the season.
“I’m really forward to the next home meet against Randolph-Macon College and our invitational at Gettysburg in November to close out the semester.”
Head Coach Abby Brethaur said she is also very excited for this season.
“This year, we have a big group of returners who are invested in the program, and the seniors and I started at the same time so that’s really nice,” Brethaur said. “There is great focus and leadership and the goals are bigger than just winning conferences.”
On the women’s team, freshmen to look out for this year include Anna Corley, who swims backstroke, and Shannon Coryell swimming sprints. Men’s freshmen to watch include Henry Bassett, swimming freestyle and backstroke, and Tyler Gimple, swimming distance freestyle.
Both the men’s and women’s swim teams return to the pool on Friday, Nov. 1 to compete away against York College at 6:00 p.m.