By WES HOST
After many grueling weeks of practice, the University of Mary Washington swim team had an undefeated weekend against Capital Athletic Conference foes.
The Mary Washington men’s team defeated St. Mary’s College of Maryland 121-84 and the women’s team won 127-84 at Goolrick natatorium Friday. On Saturday, both the men’s and women’s teams found similar success against Marymount University and Salisbury University in Arlington, Va. The men won with a combined score of 291-114 and the women won 267-142.
It was the team’s first meet since their winter training trip to Puerto Rico, and it was a week described by both players and coaches as one of the hardest weeks of the year. The team encountered two-a-day practices in a 50-meter pool to prepare for the grind, and after last weekend, the hard work had obviously paid off.
“It set us up for the spring semester and was a good confidence booster,” junior Colin Hess said.
The team, who now has claimed sole possession of first place in the CAC, exuded confidence and spirit.
The men’s side was loaded with wins, as sophomore Nick Eckhoff won the 1000-yard freestyle and the 100-yard freestyle, junior Billy Norfolk won the 200-yard freestyle and the 200-yard butterfly, and senior Stephan Clendenin won the 200-yard IM and the 500-yard freestyle. Other victories on for the men’s team included junior Austin Clark’s win in the 50-yard freestyle, freshman Carey Natoli’s win in the 400-yard IM and Cesare Zannoni’s win in the 200-yard backstroke.
The women’s side had their fair share of victories too, as sophomore Lindsay Ancellotti won the 500-yard freestyle and the 200-yard freestyle, senior Adriana Lesiuk won the 100-yard freestyle, senior Sarah Crockett won the 200-yard backstroke, sophomore Cameron Figuers won the 400-yard IM, and freshman Elizabeth Lewan won the 50-yard freestyle.
UMW head swim coach Abby Brethauer was happy with both her teams’ performances following Friday’s home meet.
“We looked good off of the blocks… I am very pleased with the way we swam today,” Brethauer said.
Brethauer, along with other coaches and swimmers, paced the pool deck constantly as cheers resounded around the natatorium motivating swimmers, especially in long distance races.
Saturday in Arlington, different swimmers got to exercise their brilliance. Senior Brad Dunn won the 1000-yard freestyle while a gang of sophomores also finished first in events, as Jack McHugh won the 200-yard freestyle, Andrew Garafolo won the 500-yard free and Peter Slattery won the 100-yard breaststroke.
Eckhoff, Clendenin and Clark found the same success at the following day’s meet, though this time in different events. Eckhoff won 200-yard IM, Clendenin the 100-yard butterfly and Clark the 100-yard freestyle.
Back on the women’s side, Ancellotti, Lesiuk and Figuers each found their way into the winner’s circle again on Saturday, as they won the 1000-yard freestyle, the 50-yard freestyle, and 500-yard freestyle respectively. Juniors Megan DeSmit and Kelly Scott also won events, DeSmit in the 200-yard IM and Scott in the 100-yard butterfly. Freshman Jessica Singer was another UMW winner, as she topped the competition in the 200-yard freestyle.
The Eagles have one final test and one final opportunity to cut time as they host Gettysburg College this Saturday with races starting at 1 p.m. Following that meet, the team will have some downtime before their next event, as they will shift all their focus on the CAC championships that take place on Feb.18. The men will try for their 11th consecutive conference championship while the women will go for their 21st.