Last week, the Elizabethtown College swim team finished off the last two meets of the regular season with a loss and a win. Both the men’s and women’s teams finished the season with a record of 4-7 overall and 4-4 in conference.
Wednesday, Jan. 25, the swim teams travelled to Westminster, Md. to swim against McDaniel College in an out-of-conference meet. “McDaniel is a bigger team. They are in the next division above us,” Head Coach Mark Wilson said.
According to Wilson, the swim team tries to swim against better teams when not in-conference in order to give Etown swimmers a challenge. McDaniel proved to be a real challenge for the Blue Jays. Out of the 22 events swam at the meet, Etown only placed first in four events.
For the men’s team, junior Ryan Hannon won the 100 backstroke with a time of 58.19. The men’s 200 freestyle relay team of Hannon, sophomore Andrew Malik, sophomore Michael Rentschler and junior Nathaniel Vanderwerff won their race with a time of 1:36.50, which was only ahead of McDaniel’s team by a little over three seconds.
Andrew Malik also finished in two very close second places during the meet – first in the 200 yard freestyle, where he was beat by only 0.23 of a second and then again during the 100 yard freestyle, in which he was beat by 0.30 of a second. The men’s team lost to McDaniel 56-37.
On the women’s team junior Erika Harold won the 50 freestyle with a time of 25.98 while her teammate junior Jennifer Malik finished second with a time of 26.37. Sophomore Abby Mitchell also took the 100 butterfly for her team with a time of 1:03.69, just 0.2 of a second before McDaniel’s Brittney Lenz.
The women’s team finished with a score of 62-33, losing to McDaniel.
Jennifer Malik commented on the loss to McDaniel, saying, “They have a five-lane pool [at McDaniel], which is very different for us because only two people counted per race, so it was a little bit of a struggle because the score system was different for us. A six-lane pool helps us to pick up more points in each event.”
Even though the Blue Jays lost, Wilson said, “It was a good meet.”
Then, on Jan. 28, the Blue Jays finally broke their five-meet losing streak, when they beat King’s College in the last meet of the regular season. Before the meet, Wilson was hopeful, saying, “We should probably beat King’s.”
The men’s team started off the meet by winning their first four events. The 400 medley team of Hannon, junior Shaun Martin, Rentschler and first-year Ryan Supplee won the relay. They also achieved a new team record with the time of 4:02.12.
First-year Frank Capria had a great day, winning both the 1000 freestyle and the 500 freestyle with times of 10:59.90 and 5:22.14, respectively. He also set a new best time with his 500 freestyle race. The men’s team won with a score of 109-68.
On the women’s side, sophomore Kimberly Cosgrove won the 1000 freestyle with a time of 11:35.79, and junior Erin Murowany finished second with a time of 11:59.00.
Sophomore Megan Leppo beat Patricia Manning of King’s in the 200 free by only 0.25 of a second with a time of 2:07.35. Harold and Malik finished first and second in the women’s 50 freestyle with times of 26.49 and 26.54, respectively. Mitchell also topped her season-best time in the 200 butterfly with a time of 2:24.77. The women’s team won with a score of 121-79.
The Middle Atlantic Conference Championships are still ahead for the Blue Jays. They will take place Feb. 10 through Feb. 12. The team currently has 20 swimmers qualified for the championship meet.