Swimmers and Divers Keep Trying to Build Momentum


Competing on the road against Amherst this past weekend, the Middlebury men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams both suffered their third losses of the young season. The Mammoth women’s team defeated the Panthers 167-122, while on the men’s side, the Mammoth men’s team came out of Pratt Pool victorious, 165-102.

Frances VanderMeer ’20 came out of her third straight meet with another individual first-place finish for the Panthers, good for her fourth individual win on the year. Afterward, although the team score came up a little short, she nevertheless remained optimistic about what lies ahead.

“I think all of our work in preseason really set us up for a good season,” she said. “ Everyone is very dedicated to the team and has been working really hard. Paying attention to the little things makes a big difference as well.

“We also have an incredible team dynamic, which makes it easy get excited and race well. We’re looking to have a strong end of the winter season and come off of our 10-day training trip with an even better endurance base. This will be especially important as we head into j-term, where we have a meet every weekend.”

Kristin Karpowicz ’19 also claimed an individual title for the women’s squad in the 200-yard individual medley (2:16.93).

Stephanie Andrews ’18 pulled out a solid 25.24 second 50-free race, good for a second-place finish. Kathryn Bullen ’18 found her groove in the 200-yard individual medley, coming in second behind Karpowicz in a time of 2:22.21.

VanderMeer also had a hand in the 400-yard freestyle relay victory, which consisted of VandeerMeer, Maya Gomez ’20, Andrews and Erin Kelly ’21. The team touched the wall in a time of 3:42.84.

Elissa DeNunzio ’18 claimed the 3-meter diving title for the third straight meet with 236.03 points. DeNunzio also placed second in the 1-meter with 241.65 points.

For the Panther men’s side, Andrew Buchser ’18, Connor McCormick ’18 and Jack Dowling ’18 registered a first-place finish in their individual races. A relay consisting of Cory Jalbert ’21, Keegan Pando ’21, Will Pannos ’20 and Brendan Leech ’19 claimed the first place-title in the 400-yard freestyle event.

McCormick clocked in at 2:01.67 in the 200-yard individual medley for the Panthers which was good for his second individual first-place finish this season. Buchser completed the 500-yard freestyle in 5:02.37 and found himself atop the podium. Dowling was the third Panther to come out of the pool in an individual event triumphant after he won the 100-yard butterfly in 54.31 seconds.

Jalbert, Pando, Pannos and Leech ended the meet on the high note of tying for first in the 400-yard freestyle relay with a time of 3:20.53.

Alec Wilson ’21 (500 frees), Charles Quinn ’20 (200 IM), Pannos (100 fly) and Kevin Santoro ’21 (200 back) all finished second for the Panthers in their respective events, as well as the other Panther 400-yard relay team, consisting of Dowling, Zack Einhorn ’21, Henry Mooers ’21 and Nick Handali ’20.

Though the Panthers have faced difficult competition thus far, the team is looking forward to this Saturday, Dec. 9, when they are set to host Springfield for their last chance to notch a victory before the calendar year ends.

But some of the Panthers can’t help looking beyond that — to the postseason meets that take place in February and March. “On the diving team,” said DeNunzio, “we are excited to host the regional championships for the first year. I’m looking forward to our upcoming meets and getting the opportunity to showcase the new dives we have been working hard on so far this season.”

But the number one priority for the Panthers, according to DeNunzio? “We’re hoping to keep improving our scores to better prepare ourselves for the Nescac meet at the end of the year.”