The women’s swimming and diving team competed at Wesleyan in the 2019 NESCAC Championship from Thursday to Sunday, Feb. 14 to 17, where they placed eighth. Williams took the winning title for the sixth consecutive year, scoring 1,873 total points. Finishing second was Tufts with 1,439.5 points, followed by Amherst (1,322 points). The Panthers amassed 730 points, many of which came from Frances VanderMeer ’20.
VanderMeer claimed gold by .04 seconds in the 50-yard freestyle, sprinting to a victorious time of 23.55. Last winter, she was runner-up with a school-record-breaking performance. VanderMeer made the NCAA “B” standard for the second year in a row. She also earned All-NESCAC honors in the 50 backstroke, where she placed third and narrowly missed the school record.
The Panther relay teams acquired solid scores on Thursday and Friday. The 800-yard freestyle quartet of Kristin Karpowicz ’19, Audrey Hsi ’22, Angela Riggins ’19, and Grace Stimson ’19 secured eighth (7.43.32). Also scoring eighth was the 200 free relay of VanderMeer, Maddie McKean ’22, Stimson, and Erin Kelly ’21 (1:36.84), in addition to the 400-yard medley relay of VanderMeer, Kelly, McKean, and Hsi (3:57.83).
Notable individual performances included Hannah Wander ’22, who took 10th in the 50-yard breaststroke (30.82), and Karpowicz, who claimed seventh in the 500-yard free (5:01.47).
The Panthers continued their feats on Saturday, showing strong efforts in many of the individual events. The 200-yard medley relay team of Hsi, VanderMeer, Kelly, and McKean finished eighth in 1:46.7. Wander also took eighth in the 100 breastroke (1:07.1), stopping the clock just before Kelly, who swam to 13th in 1:07.83. In the 1,000 freestyle, Riggins touched the wall 10th (10:28.51). Karpowicz scored 11th in the 200 free (1:53.22), while Sarah McEachern ’21 swam the 400 individual medley in 4:42.38, earning 16th.
Ending her individual events on a high note, VanderMeer scored third in the 100 free, achieving another NCAA “B” cut mark with a time of 51.46. Runner-up in 2018, she made All-NESCAC honors for the second time in this event. Indicative of her impressive season as a whole, VanderMeer’s performance provided the Panthers with momentum heading into the rest of Sunday.
Riggins took 13th in the 1,650 freestyle, completing the 66 laps in 17:38.01. In the 200 breastroke final, Hannah Wander and Kelly took 11th (2:26.74) and 12th (2:26.88), respectively.
On the diving boards, Olivia Rieur claimed ninth in both the one- and three-meter events, accumulating 343.85 points. Following closely behind in 10th place was Mary Cate Carroll ’21, scoring 335.15 points.
Closing out the final day of competition, the 400 freestyle relay quartet of VanderMeer, Stimson, Hsi, and Karpowicz finished eighth in 3:30.74.
Overall, the Panthers uncapped the majority of their potential in this year’s NESCAC Championship, conquering record-breaking times, attaining personal successes, and winning several individual titles. This weekend, Feb. 22–24, the men’s team host their half of NESCACs in the Natatorium.