The men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams returned to the pool after winter break to take on the Division II University of Tampa (Fla.) in a dual meet.
Both of Tampa’s teams were ranked in the top 10 of Division II swimming and diving teams prior to the event.
Led by Head Coach Jon Howell, the women dominated the meet, beating the University of Tampa’s women’s team by a score of 169-88. The win improved the team to 3-2 on the season and dropped the University of Tampa to 5-2.
Freshman Elizabeth Aronoff was the only NCAA qualifier from both the men’s and women’s teams, winning the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:24.33.
The women finished with 12 first-place finishes. Senior Leslie Hackler finished first in the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 2:08.93 and in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 59.35.
“That particular meet is really a great opportunity to get up and race no matter how tired you are,” Hackler said. “I believe that everyone did an extraordinary job of doing so. The meet is placed right in the middle of the most difficult portion of winter training and in less-than-ideal pool conditions. Both myself and the rest of the team were focused on carrying out race strategies and not so much the times that we swam.”
Other first-place finishes included junior Jennifer Pak in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:56.39, senior Anna Dobben in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 59.38 and junior Kylie McKenzie in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:07.48.
The men’s match was much closer, losing by a score of 133-129, falling to a record of 0-5, while the University of Tampa improved to 3-3.
“I thought both teams placed well considering the amount of training we had done throughout the week,” Howell said. “Both the men’s and women’s teams put up some nice times. The men’s meet was very close, and we might have won if a few of our swimmers were not disqualified in the final event.”
The men individually combined for six first-place finishes including senior Peter O’Brien, who won the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 59.22, and the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 1:55.41. Freshman Eagan Zettlemoyer placed first in two events, swimming the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:49.81, and the 1000-yard freestyle with a time of 10:03.42.
“I think that I performed pretty well at the meet against Tampa, considering how tired I was due to the extensive training we did throughout our stay in Florida,” Zettlemoyer said. “Stepping up at a dual meet while on a training trip can be difficult, but I feel that, as a team, we swam well since the meet came down to the final relay. This meet is a good indicator of how well our team will perform when we taper at the close of the season.”
Other first place finishes included freshman Andrew Wilson, who finished the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:08.90, and senior Miller Douglas, who finished the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 50.67.
Both the men’s and women’s teams next meets will happen on Senior Day – this Saturday, Jan. 19 – at 1 p.m., when the Eagles face the Savannah College of Arts and Design in a dual meet. It will be the final home meet for the men’s and women’s teams.
– By Brian Chavkin