By JULIAN MENK
In a thrilling meet between Gettysburg College and host University of Mary Washington on Saturday, Jan. 24, the Lady Eagles narrowly edged out a 134-128 victory.
The standout performance of the meet came courtesy of UMW junior Katie Fago, who set a new school record in the 100-yard backstroke at 57.50. Fago was also the previous record holder for the event.
“I had no idea going into this meet that I would break my own record. My goal was just to do a season best,” said Fago. “I felt fast while I was swimming, but I didn’t know I was on record pace. Splits can be hard to judge while swimming, and the scoreboard wasn’t working, so I didn’t know my time until my coach, Abby Brethauer, told me I had broken my record with a 57.50.”
Other notable victories for the Eagle women were in the 200-yard relay of Fago, Alex Parrish, Shannon Coryell and Steph Hallock, as well as Hallock in both the 200 and 100-yard freestyle, Abby Cox in both the 200-yard fly and 500-yard freestyle, Coryell in the 50-yard freestyle and Anna Corley in the 200-yard IM.
“At the Capital Athletic Conference Championships, I expect to see relays break conference and school records and make NCAA cuts as well,” Fago said.
The men’s team fell short of a victory against Gettysburg College during the Eagles’ Saturday home meet 151-108. However, there were many memorable performances against a strong Gettysburg squad.
The 200-yard medley relay comprised of Sean Mayer, Vance Solseth, Alex Anderson and Matthew Garstka came down to the final sprint, and the Eagle men won the event by 0.04 seconds.
“Alex got me a big lead, which I needed because Gettysburg’s anchor is currently the fastest sprinter in Division III,” said Garstka, a junior. “I saw him coming at the turn, and I put my head down and tried to move my arms as fast as I could.”
In addition to the exciting relay, the Eagles saw two individuals win multiple events. Anderson, a senior, won both the 50-yard freestyle and the 200-yard backstroke, while junior Zach Eisig earned first place honors in both the 1,000-yard freestyle and the 500-yard freestyle.
Another notable performance came from the freshman Kenyon Huber-Wilker with his win in the 200-yard breaststroke.
“I was happy with our team’s performance because at this point in the season, we are all really broken down due to the tough training, so seeing some of the impressive times is a good sign of what is to come at conferences,” said Garstka.
Both the women and the men will return to competition on Saturday, Jan. 31, hosting conference rivals Marymount University and Frostburg State University at 1 p.m. in the Goolrick Natatorium.