Swimming cruises in final tuneup before UAA Championships
The men’s team managed to win all 11 events in the meet with junior Luke Dobben, senior Tyler Perez and sophomore RJ Petrella leading the way. Dobben finished first in the 1,000-yard freestyle, leading a Wash. U. first-to-third sweep, and later added a victory in the 200 butterfly. Perez took first in two events as well, winning in both the 200 breaststroke and 200 freestyle, while Petrella added wins in the 400 individual medley and 200 backstroke.
Other event winners for the men’s side included freshmen Justin Morrell and Michael Lagieski, sophomore Reed Dalton and junior Matt Nutter in the 400 medley relay; Morrell in the 50 freestyle; Nutter in the 100 freestyle; freshman Andrew Ellison in the 500 freestyle; and Dobben, sophomore Kaisen Yao, senior Jason Wan and Lagieski in the 200 freestyle relay.
The women’s team also proved worthy of their No. 6 ranking by taking nine of the 11 event victories over the weekend. Freshman MariMac Collins led the way for the women’s with victories in both the 50 freestyle and 500 freestyle. Sophomore Kristalyn McAfee contributed to the women’s team with a win in the 200 backstroke and anchored the first-place 400 medley relay that also featured sophomores Katie Anderson and Sophie Gan and freshman Lauren Carlos.
“As a team, it was good that we got a chance to get out there and race,” McAfee said. “We were ready to taper down and swim as fast as we can…our goal as a team is to get out there and get as many points as we can.”
Posting a time of 2:09.59, sophomore Amanda Stadermann finished first in the 200 butterfly, and she also teamed up with junior Katie Crist, Carlos and freshman Claire Savage to win the 200 freestyle relay. Other individual event winners were senior Chi Pham in the 400 individual medley and freshman Erin Polries, who won the 200 freestyle.
The dual meets were the Red and Green’s final warm-up for the UAA Championships at Emory University on Feb. 12-15. With both sides featuring rankings in the top 15 in Division III, expectations are high for this year’s postseason performances.
Bears’ head coach Brad Shively believes the meet instilled some confidence but acknowledged that the Bears have a lot left ahead of them.
“The meet, from a team perspective, was a good way for us to try out new things, build some confidence…but we’re not taking a lot of stock into our ranking. We have the defending national champions in our conference. We’ve had some good swims, but if we want to be mentioned in the same breath as them, we need to continue building on our performances. We absolutely need to represent,” Shively said.
Shively added that the remaining two weeks before the UAA Championships will be focused on getting the swimmers well-rested and conditioned, making sure that his athletes are in a position to swim fast in the most important meet of the season.