The men's and women's swimming and diving teams look toward the NESCAC Championships as their seasons progress. The teams will get preparation for the championship meet tomorrow at Colby, when the teams face off against Wesleyan and Trinity.
The meet follows an impressive performance at a non-scoring meet at the University of Maine-Orono last Saturday. The Bears were victorious, finishing first in 18 of the meet's 34 events.
Despite an impressive showing, the results do not count toward the team's overall record.
Coach Brad Burnham said that holding a non-scoring meet is helpful in preparing for end of the season conference meets and gives team members a chance to swim races they might not otherwise have the opportunity to swim.
"We want everyone on the team to race four events," Burnham said. "We use it more as a conference meet prep."
Ryan Peabody '14 led the way on the men's side, placing first in the 400-yard IM, 100-yard backstroke and the 200-yard IM. Nathan Mercay '13 and Linc Rhodes '14 also collected pairs of first place finishes. Mecray placed first in the 50-yard breaststroke and 100-yard breaststroke. Rhodes took the 200-yard butterfly and 500-yard freestyle.
Polar Bear relays also captured first place wins in the 200-yard free relay of Mecray, Rhodes, Mac Routh '12 and David Wells '11 with a time of 1:29.16. The 200-yard medley of Mecray, Routh, Basyl Stuyvesant '13 and E.J. Googins '13 won with a time of 1:38.03.
On the women's team, five swimmers captured first place in individual events. Captain Caitlin Callahan '11 took the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:11.30, Emma Pyle '12 won the 100-yard backstroke in 1:05.62, and Allen Garner '12 took the 200-yard IM in 2:16.63.
Rounding out the first-place finishes for the Bears were first years Lauren Varnell in the 50-yard breaststroke with a time of 32.11 and Caitlin Hutchinson-Maddox in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 5:28.61.
So far this season, the team has won two meets, lost one, and placed fifth out of sixth at the MIT Invitational in early December.
Burnham is optimistic that the team will be ready to perform at NESCAC Championships on February 25. Until then, the team will be using upcoming meets to improve.
"[The swimmers] can practice on really focusing and really getting up for the race and supporting each other," Burnham said.
Burnham has been pleased with his team's performance but notes that there is a need for improvement. Next weekend's home meet against Colby will be the last before the NESCAC conference meet begins.
"We still have a lot to do on preparing physically and mentally for racing," Burnham said. "The last two meets will be close so we will have to put together our best lineup for them."