Swimming and Diving Opens Season With Dual Victory: The New Standard at Smith

Photo courtesy of Smithpioneers.com

Photo courtesy of Smithpioneers.com

Katerina Lopez ’16
Contributing Writer

Nov. 9 was an exciting afternoon for the Smith College swimming and diving team, as the team logged its first two wins at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, defeating teams from Babson College and Brandeis University. The meet brought Smith once again into competition with Brandeis, a fellow original charter member of the NEW6 conference, which has since evolved into the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference. While Brandeis is no longer a part of the NEWMAC, Smith did face conference opponents Babson and WPI. For the opening of their season, the Pioneers paired strong diving with key race finishes to surpass Babson 198–97 and Brandeis 221–59, but could not beat host WPI, who pulled out a 182–118 win.

The swim team showed great potential with its opening performance. Smith enjoyed first and second place honors in the dramatic 1,000-yard freestyle where Emily Lane ’15 beat Claire Dudek ’16 by 0.46 seconds. Senior tri-captain Olivia Bannon ’14 posted her season best of the day in the 100-yard breaststroke and continued the trend with the 200-yard breaststroke, where she dominated her competition with an 8-second win. Smith’s relay teams bettered their seed times and swam to a second-place finish in the 200-yard freestyle and a third-place finish in the 400-yard medley relay.

WPI’s and Babson’s divers proved little competition for Smith on Saturday, thanks to one Pioneer in particular: sophomore tri-captain and NEWMAC diver of the week Cecelia Arrison ’16. The veteran diver started her day at WPI on the one-meter board, where she won with an impressive score of 251.50 and set the tone for what would be a victorious afternoon. Arrison certainly did not disappoint when she continued her command of the board with a 274.05 win in the three-meter competition. Arrison’s three-meter score had an incredible win margin of just under 40 points over second place. Fellow sophomore Anna Partridge ’16 added to Smith’s success with a third place finish on the three-meter board.

This past Saturday’s results are similar to those of last year’s NEWMAC championship, where Smith was topped by WPI but managed to outscore Babson. Considering the graduation of 12 seniors last spring, the relative maintenance of Smith’s competitive level is impressive and undoubtedly the result of dedicated training and strong leadership. Tri-captain Arrison was proud of her team’s performance and found Saturday to be “an exciting meet for everyone and a positive start to the main competition season.” Based on the results of the WPI-Brandeis-Babson meet, there is a promising season ahead for the Pioneers in the pool and on the diving board.

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