Last Saturday, the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams opened their seasons at home against MIT and Babson College.  MIT swept both the men and women in swimming, defeating the women 194-93 and the men 215-82. Bowdoin, however, bested both the Babson men and women with head-to-head scores of 205-90 and 216-81, respectively.

“MIT has more talent on paper,” said Head Coach Brad Burnham. “They are a top 10 school on the women’s side, and a top-two-or-three school on the men’s side. And they’ve been training longer. We got touched out in a lot of races—points were lopsided in that way.”

One bright spot for the Polar Bears was the performance of first year Tim Long, who finished first in the 1,000 meter free-style with a time of 9:58:36. Long became the second Bowdoin swimmer to finish the event in under ten minutes, and was two seconds away from beating the school record of 9:56:94 set by Conrad Stuntz ’94. Long finished 11 seconds ahead of the second place swimmer.

“He came close to setting the record in his debut, which is pretty sweet,” said butterfly swimmer Chris Granata ’17.

As a team, the Polar Bears swam faster than they anticipated. 

“We ran some in-house trials a week before the meet, and we clocked in much better at the meet then in the trials before it across the board. Everyone improved in one week,” Burnham said.

Bowdoin’s strongest event was the breaststroke, in which Helen Newton ’14 and Maeve O’Leary ’14 finished first and second in the 100-meter, respectively.  Sophia Walker ’17 finished first in the 200-meter.

On the men’s team, JR Chansakul ’16 finished second in the 200-meter breaststroke, and Nathan Garner ’17 finished third.

“Breaststroke was strong on both the men’s and women’s side,” Burnham said. “On the men’s team we are well balanced all around. On the women’s side we are missing some swimmers who are abroad, so when they come back it will make us stronger there.”

Bowdoin won all four diving events. Josh Ellis ’17 and Tommy Kramer ’15 finished first and second, respectively, in the three-meter dive. Kramer also finished first and Ellis second in the one-meter dive.

On the women’s side, Sage Mikami ’15 took home first place in both the one and three meter dives.

“They are each going to have fantastic seasons,” Burnham said of the divers.
Bowdoin travels to MIT this weekend for their next meet, which will feature six teams instead of the usual three.

“It’s more of a training meet—we get to know how we all swim best and what events we are best suited for going forward,” Burnham said.