Rarely is a loss by a 150-point margin considered a job well done. But for the women's swimming and diving team, the first meet of the season on November 19 proved to be just that.

The Polar Bears fell to national powerhouse MIT 212-87, but prevailed over Babson 224-71.

Head Coach Brad Burnham said he found the team's mood positive after the split decision.

"At this point in the season, all the stock is not held in the team score," he said.

Helen Newton '14 stood out for the Polar Bears, winning won both the 100-yard breaststroke (1:09.95) and the 200-yard breaststroke (2:29.92).

Bowdoin was also represented well with strong second-place finishes from captain Allen Garner '12 in the 200-yard freestyle (1:59.02) and the 200-yard IM (2:14.16).

Other second-place finishes were from Caitlin Hutchinson-Maddox '14 in the 200-yard butterfly (2:18.83), and first years Teri Faller in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:00.53), Patty Boyer in the 50-yard freestyle (25.64), and Kelsey Goodwin in the 100-yard butterfly (1:02.60).

"There is an emphasis on getting stronger," Newton said. "Not necessarily to get our best times, but to feel good and to get used to racing this early in the season."

The next meet is this weekend's MIT Invitational, where the Polar Bears will face NESCAC opponents Tufts and Colby.

Unlike MIT and other New England competitors, NESCAC schools have had to abide by practice restrictions that prevent teams from practicing earlier in the season.

"This next meet will be a better judge of where we are," Burnham predicted.

-Compiled by Clare McLaughlin.