Swimming: Both men and women’s team sink mid-January competition
Written by Sumner Higginbotham|
January 25, 2016
If rival men’s teams were waiting for the reigning Colonial Athletic Association champions to falter before the February races, they’ll be waiting a while, as William and Mary continued its strong season with triumphs over George Washington and Davidson in both the men’s and women’s categories. The George Washington meet took place Jan. 9 in Washington, D.C., where the men’s team won 178-96 and the women claimed victory 164-106. The Tribe hosted Davidson in Williamsburg, Va. Jan.16, the women winning 172-87 while the men dominated 191-68. The women placed third in the CAA last year.
Both Tribe squads won despite their usual disadvantage of having no diving team. On the women’s side at George Washington, the College found itself in a 26-0 hole as the Colonials capitalized on their diving team. It was no matter for the Tribe, who set on a course to win nine of the 14 categories to claim the meet. The Tribe relay won the 200-yard medley relay with a team of junior Sophie Rittenhouse, sophomore Annie Valls, sophomore Jess Crowley, and sophomore Abby Mack. The relay team finished with a time of 1:47:82.
The College finally took the lead for good in the 1,000-yard free, in which freshman Maria Oceguera claimed victory. The Tribe had success with both experienced and inexperienced swimmers, as senior Jessie Ustjanauskas won the 200-yard free as well as the 100-yard fly, while freshman Katie Sell took the 100-yard back. Juniors Allie Christy and Selina Fuller each won their races, the 100-yard breast and the 200-yard back, respectively. Sophomore Rachel Anderson notched another win for the Tribe in the 200-yard fly.
Junior Jaimie Miller’s performance stood out among a plethora of excellent races for the Tribe, as she set a lifetime-best time of 5:08:02 in the 500-yard free.
George Washington managed to claim the 50-yard free and the 100-yard free, but still fell to the Tribe 154-106.
The GWU men’s team (3-1) had less success than their counterparts, falling to the Tribe men’s squad (7-1) by a 178-96 margin, claiming only two of the 14 events.
With the usual diving deficit set at 18-0, the College promptly retook the lead after just two events. Sophomore Wyatt Grubb, freshman Brooks Peterson, junior Alex Montes de Oca, and senior Will Manion composed the winning 200-yard medley relay team while featuring a member of every class.
Freshman Eric Grimes took the 1,000-yard free, while the experienced members of the Tribe carried the team the rest of the way to victory. Manion claimed the 100-yard free with a lifetime best of 1:40:44, while seniors Justin Barden and Andrew Nyce added three more events to the College’s win column, while sophomore Tommy Kealy added two events of his own.
The Colonials won their two events because the Tribe sent exhibitioner swimmers in, as William and Mary torpedoed the Colonials in a 178-96 blowout.
Davidson didn’t fair any better just a week later. The Tribe sank the Wildcats 191-68 in the Jan. 16 Senior Day home meet in Williamsburg, Va.
A team of all seniors consisting of Manion, Bardan, Jeremiah O’Donnell, and Billy Russel won the 200-yard medley relay. Between the four swimmers, William and Mary claimed six other events (100-yard back, 200-yard back, 100-yard breast, 400-yard IM, 100-yard fly, and 50-yard free), while a fifth senior — Nyce — added the 200-yard breast to the list of wins.
The underclassmen tacked on four more events, as Grimes seized the 200-yard free. Sophomore Conrad Zamparello took the 1,000-yard free, junior Joe Eiden claimed the 100-yard free, and junior Sean Higgins claimed the 200-yard fly.
On the women’s side, William and Mary (6-3) put on a clinic of its own against Davidson, securing the 11th winning season in the past 12 years in a 172-87 showing. The senior class graduates with an 11-5 record at home, the best for any given class since 1991.
The 200-yard medley relay team of Rittenhouse, Valls, Ustjanauskas, and Miller won handily. Ustjanauskas claimed the 200-yard and 100-yard fly events as well. Miller went on to take the 50-yard and 200-yard free events. Senior Noelle Klockner won the 100-yard free and 100-yard back in her first victories of the season, while junior Allie Christy notched wins in both of the breast stroke events.
Rittenhouse claimed the 200-yard back, and sophomore Emma Merrill took the 400 IM in an overall dominating performance for the Tribe.
Up next for both Tribe squads is a tri-meet in Greenville, N.C. against South Carolina and East Carolina, scheduled for Jan. 30.