Last weekend, the Elizabethtown College women’s swim team participated in the three-day Landmark Conference Championships. On Friday alone, swimmers achieved fourteen season-best records. On Sunday, they made a ninth-place finish to end their first Landmark championships.
Mark Wilson, head coach, was optimistic prior to the meet. “Being our first time in Landmark, my thoughts were to see swimmers do their best times after training hard,” he said. “I was impressed and very proud of the entire team. Every swimmer did their best time for the season.”
Fifth-year occupational therapy student, Kimberly Cosgrove, competed in the 1650-yard freestyle for the last time before her graduation. Earning her seventh place swim on Sunday, Etown’s best individual finish, resulted in her fourth top-ten finish in four conference championship meets. “It honestly was the best feeling ever to finish well in my last race ever. It was a great opportunity to be able to place in the top ten for the fourth year in a row and get on the podium,” she said. “This was something that I had worked hard for all season. And at the end, all of the pain I endured throughout the season and during the race no longer mattered.” Cosgrove credited her ability to finish the race to the support of her teammates.
Cosgrove and junior Rachel Engelhardt both finished in the top 15 in the 500-yard freestyle. After studying abroad last semester, Engelhardt came back strong. “I really had no idea what to expect for championships. I always believe in setting reasonable goals, but I personally didn’t even know what was reasonable for me, considering I missed the first half of the season. So I told myself that all I could do was go out and just swim as fast as I could and try my best,” Engelhardt said. “I did better than I ever expected, and I was so proud of myself.”
Engelhardt also participated in the 800-freestyle relay with senior Tara Deisher, first-year Megan Anderson and Cosgrove. “I was on pace to do better than I previously did, as my first 100 as out just as fast, but unfortunately I couldn’t hold that pace and ended up with a slower time, as my body was exhausted and just wanted to shut down. Luckily I had [Tara] Deisher, [Megan] Anderson and [Kim] Cosgrove behind me to help us finish in fifth place! We were all so proud of ourselves as we all had great splits!” Engelhardt said. “This was my favorite championship to attend, as everyone was so positive, had a great mindset and was so into the meet.” Engelhardt thought the meet was exciting regarding other swimmers from different teams, as they broke records in several events.
Juniors Bonnie Lisk and Amanda Long, senior Hunter Smith and Cosgrove make up the 400-medley relay team, which placed fifth with a time of 4:18.00. Lisk was excited about her relay team’s performance. “It was so awesome! We all had season best times, and it was a close race, but we actually beat our seed by four places and got fifth overall even though we were seated ninth,” Lisk said. “It was one of the most fun relays to be on and so exciting.” Lisk also placed 13th in the 100-yard backstroke and 14th in the 200-yard backstroke overall.
“Whenever you train for a big competition, as coach you hope the taper training pays off. This was probably one of the best groups of swimmers who trained hard, did great times, with great attitudes” Wilson said. Lisk agreed. “It was a great weekend for everyone,” she said.