The Emory men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams trounced Birmingham-Southern College (Ala.) at home Saturday, Oct. 21. The men’s team secured a convincing victory, 163-121. Likewise, the women’s team earned a decisive 173-111 result. Emory’s strong showing Saturday came a week after a loss at the hands of a Division II squad, Queens University of Charlotte (N.C.), 187-75 (men’s) and 169.5-92.5 (women’s).
With Saturday’s meet taking place early in the season, Head Coach Jon Howell said that the team executed at a high level.
“The goal for Saturday was to apply a lot of what we had been doing at practice to a competitive environment,” Howell said. “We wanted to learn from what we did well so we could move forward.”
One of the men’s top performers was sophomore diver Trevor Burke, who posted the top score in both of his events.
Burke dominated in the three- and one-meter dives, defeating the No. 2 diver by more than 50 points in each event. His two No. 1 finishes contributed 18 points to the men’s total of 163 on the day.
The men’s team found success individually and as a part of relay teams. Twelve Eagles recorded individual victories, including freshman Sven Mesihovic, who posted a No. 1 time in two events. Freshman Sage Ono, senior Michael Grenon, sophomore Andrew DuPont and junior Alex Kohlman sealed a victory in the 200-yard medley relay with a time of 1:35.38. In the 200-yard freestyle relay, junior Zachary Chen, senior Alexander Hardwick, sophomore Connor McCourt and freshman Connor Duggan swam past the opposition with a time of 1:26.86.
Senior Henry Copses was victorious in the 1000-yard freestyle, beating the No. 2 swimmer by a fraction of a second with a time of 9:48.23.
“From a personal perspective, I was little scared since it was a close race throughout,” Copses said. “I want to give props to the Birmingham-Southern kid who gave me a run for my money. It was a good, tight race, and I appreciate all the competition I can get.”
Copses considered Saturday’s performance to be a good indicator that the team is on the right path.
“Saturday was definitely our best meet so far, especially in comparison to our performance against Queens, which was a little rough,” Copses said. “Overall, this meet was better, and we put in a lot of solid work.”
On the women’s side, tearing up the competition, junior Julia Durmer was Emory’s top performer with three individual victories. In addition to Durmer, senior Cindy Cheng collected two individual first place finishes. Overall, 11 Eagles secured individual wins.
One of Durmer’s victories came in the 1000-yard freestyle. Durmer pieced together a terrific race, touching 12 seconds before the No. 2 finisher at [insert time].
“It was the third week in a row that I swam the 1000 freestyle, and that requires 40 laps,” Durmer said. “The 1000 freestyle is exhausting but in the best way possible since it was a really fun race.”
A transfer from the University of Virginia in Spring 2017, Durmer said that she already feels a strong sense of confidence in her new team.
“This semester I really feel like I’m part of something really special,” Durmer said. “People are training really well, the team is really cohesive and there has been great communication. So, I feel like we are in a really good place.”
Durmer mentioned that it was exciting to swim at home for the first time this year and to have the support of a home crowd.
“It was [Family] Weekend, and it was really fun having so many people in the stands,” Durmer said.
Emory’s top relay teams also played a major role in Emory’s success Saturday. The 200-yard medley team, which consisted of senior Sia Beasley, juniors Meg Taylor and Ashley Daniels and sophomore Maria Kyle, touched the wall with a time of 1:49.50. Taylor, juniors Hannah Baratz and Fiona Muir and freshman Bethany Seagraves led the way in the 200-yard freestyle relay, posting a time of 1:38.72.
In regard to the team’s performance, Howell mentioned that many contributors helped to make Saturday’s meet successful.
“We are a large group, and there are a lot of moving pieces and a lot of people that contribute to what we do,” Howell said. “It is hard for me to think about just a few key people because there were a lot of high points and a lot of things we accomplished.”
The Eagles will be back at the WoodPEC for a two-day meet Nov. 3 and Nov. 4 when they compete against Wingate University (N.C.), Catawba College (N.C.) and Georgia Southern University.