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Swim team excels in expanded tournament

December 7, 2018

Reuben Schafir
FLOAT LIKE A BUTTERFLY: Jean-Baptiste Andre '20 competes in the butterfly at the Maine State Meet last weekend.

For two days last weekend, Bowdoin hosted the annual Maine State Meet for the men’s and women’s swimming teams. Seven college teams gathered this year, including three new teams—the University of New England, Saint Joseph’s College and Maine Maritime Academy, all of which joined since their traditional meet was cancelled.

The women’s team earned second place, while the men’s team ranked third. Both teams were satisfied with their results.

“We did such a great job this weekend,” said captain Becca Stern ’19. “As it is still the beginning of our season, we still have some growing to do. But right now, we are exactly where we need to be.”

“I thought our guys did really well … we came out of the weekend with some great swims,” captain William Park ’19 added.

Park pointed out the performance of Coleman Komishane ’22 in the 500 freestyle that set a new school record with a time of 4:37.77 .

Head Swim Coach Brad Burnham congratulated the swimmers on their results, but also noted the work still ahead of both teams.

“I am happy with where we are but not even close to satisfied,” said Burnham. “I like the direction we are going but sometimes I struggle a bit with the magnitude. They all work very hard but sometimes the progress is slow.”

Adding three more opponents to the meet almost doubled its size from last year, and it was the first time the Polar Bears competed against the new teams as several of the programs do not usually compete in the NESCAC. Nonetheless, the Polar Bears seemed well-adapted to the expanded tournament.

“Our athletes responded very well,” Burnham noted. “The pool was more crowded for warm-ups and things but from what I saw, they just figured out a way to make it work.”

“It was a good experience to race teams that we have previously never competed against, and the increased number of swimmers on deck resembled our conference championship meet,” said Park. “It was a good meet for us to close out November and ring in December. “

Despite some injured Polar Bears, spirits remained high.

“[We] will get into the heart of season during Winter Break, we will be working harder and more efficiently as we figure out our groove and strive to be the best we can be by the time championships come around,” said Stern.

The teams will return to campus on December 29 for training camp with a spike in training intensity, before heading to Jupiter Beach, Florida for their annual trip from January 9 to 16. The teams’ next meet on January 18 will be against Bates, whose men’s and women’s teams both earned first places in the past tournament.

Burnham considers Bates a rival to both teams at the moment. “We are loaded with potential but that doesn’t count for a whole lot in February,” he said. “[The meet] will be a great measure of where we are.”


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