Swim & Dive Reach Halfway Mark

By THE SPORTS EDITORS

The men’s and women’s swim and dive teams hit the road to face Colby in Waterville and Bates in Lewistown last weekend in Maine. The women’s squad came away with a victory at Colby, earning 202 points to Colby’s 96, while the men’s team lost to Colby 183–111 before both teams lost to Bates. In Lewistown, the women’s team lost in a close call 152.5–141.5, while the men’s team struggled and fell 170–118.

With their win at the Colby meet, the women’s team earned their second victory of the season. The formidable pair of Panther sophomores, Maya Gomez ’20 and Frances VanderMeer ’20, had their fingerprints all over Middlebury’s success in the Colby meet.

VanderMeer and Gomez were on the 200-yard medley relay team with Erin Kelly ’21 and Steph Andrews ’18 that touched the wall almost six full seconds before the second-place group that consisted of Sarah Bartholomae ’18, Lisa MacCowatt ’19, Kelly Delane ’18  and Angela Riggins ’19 . Middlebury’s B team (Bartholomae, MacCowatt, Delane and Riggins), however, finished 1.3 seconds ahead of Colby’s A team. Middlebury’s winning A squad registered a time of 1:50.45, the B squad a time of 156.06 and Colby’s A team finished with a time of 1:57.39.

VanderMeer won the 200-yard freestyle heat by finishing a full two seconds ahead of the second place finisher from Colby, Maria Armillei, and that was even in light of VanderMeer easing up in the last half lap.

The 50-yard backstroke was the closest heat of the day, but the Panthers came out on top in that event as well. Bartholomae touched the wall at 29.75, just under a tenth of a second before Colby’s Emily Ambeliotis. Meanwhile, in the 50 yard breaststroke Gomez took another top finish by edging out two teammates, Erin Kelly (32.04) and MacCowatt (32.57), as she registered a time of 31.15.

In both the men’s and women’s meets, Middlebury diving continued its run of great success. On the women’s side, Kacey Hertan ’20 won the 1-meter event with 230.85 points and Elissa DeNunzio ’18 captured the 3-meter event title with 241.35 points. On the men’s side, Mike Chirico ’20 won both diving events, racking up 271.87 points in the 1-meter event and 267.45 in the 3-meter event.

While the men’s team did not win the Colby meet and Chrico led the way from above the pool, they did have several notable performances in the water. One of those was Zack Einhorn ’21’s performance in the 200-yard freestyle, which he won by just north of four-tenths of a second over Colby senior Hugh Jacobsen by touching the wall at 1:49.28.

The other highlight was the first-place finish of the 200-yard freestyle relay team. Cory Jalbert ’21, Brendan Leech ’19, Connor McCormick ’18 and Keegan Pando ’21 allowed the day to end with a bang as they finished with a time of 1:29.84, about half a second before Colby’s A team.

After the Colby meet, the teams got on the bus and travelled southwest to Bates, where they both fell to the Bobcats. The women’s team made it close, while the men’s team struggled, although they improved their team total from the Colby meet.

VanderMeer and Gomez once again were highlights for the Panthers in the pool, and Elissa DeNunzio impressed on the boards.

VanderMeer claimed the title for the 100 yard freestyle in 53.59, 50 yard freestyle in 24.47 and the 100 yard butterfly in 59.02. VanderMeer has consistently overcome the competition in her events throughout the season thus far.

Gomez also carried over some of the previous day’s momentum, as she touched the wall first in both the 200 yard (2:29.63) and 100 yard (1:06.82) breaststroke events.

DeNunzio won both of her diving events to close the gap between the Panthers and Bobcats. DeNunzio scored 244.05 points in the 1-meter event, while also pulling out 260.03 points in the 3-meter competition. MaryCate Carroll ’21 finished second in the 1-meter diving event with a score of 216.9 and the previous day’s winner in the 1-meter, Hertan, finished third with 210.63 points.

Chirico continued his dominance as he again placed first in both the 1m and 3m diving events. In Lewiston, he racked up 286.87 points in the 1m and 293.55 in the 3m.

In the pool, the Panthers had less luck. McCormick and Jack Dowling ’19 did pull out victories in their events though. McCormick finished first in the 400 IM by touching the wall at 4:18.01, a little over two seconds before the second place finisher from Bates, Alexander Ignatov.

McCormick also posed a second place finish in the 200 breaststroke (2:12.95) and 200 free (1:46.67).

After winning the same event in the Colby meet, Einhorn finished second in the 200-yard butterfly against Bates with a time of 2:01.01.

Other good performances came from the efforts of Santoro, who finished second in the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 1:59.66, and Will Pannos ’20, who finished the 100-yard butterfly 54.09 which was good for second place.

Leech, Robert Cheng ’20, Jalbert and Alex Smith ’18 also placed second in the 200 medley relay with a time of 1:39.42.

This Saturday, the Panthers face Union at the Natatorium 2 p.m.

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Swim & Dive Reach Halfway Mark