Swimming starts competitively

The Colby men’s and women’s swimming teams endured a difficult start to the season on November 21, when both teams lost at home to Amherst College. The men’s team fell 147-119, while the women dropped their meet 149-108.

The men knew that the visiting Lord Jeffs would be a difficult first opponent, but entered the meet with the goal of an upset. The Mules’ standout performer of the day was Carter Garfield ’19, who won his first collegiate race in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of two minutes and 14.65 seconds. He added to his first victory with a third-place showing in the 100-yard breaststroke to give his team some crucial points. Diver John Pintauro ’17 tallied a first-place finish on the 3-meter board with 191.65 points and finished second on the 1-meter board.

Last year’s school-record-breaking 200-freestyle relay team returned John Devine ’18 and John Blackburn ’17. Joe Knight ’17 and two-sport athlete Jacob Tower ’19 completed the group, which  recorded a time of 1:31.97 and earned third place on Saturday. While the Mules unfortunately did not do enough to win, they showed glimpses of promise that could lead to a successful year. If first-years such as Tower, Garfield and Andrew DeStaebler ’19 can contribute to what is already an experienced team, the Mules could surprise some people this season.

The Colby women also faced a tough opening matchup, and knew some exceptional performances would be needed for a victory. Catherine Cimini ’18 answered that call by pacing the Mules with a second place finish in the 100-butterfly in 1:02.14, anchoring a 200-medley team that finished second (1:55.24), and tying with teammate Katie Southworth ’16 in the 50-freestyle with a time of 25.86. Southworth got on the board with three third-place finishes on the day. She added to her tie with Cimini with solid performances in the 200-freestyle (2:01.36) and the 100-freestyle (56.00).

Shauna Yuan ’16 finished second in the 200-breaststroke with a time of 2:37.54 to give the hosts a boost. Madi Keohane ’19 took second in the 200-backstroke in 2:13.75, a personal best. The Mules picked up third-place finishes from Katherine King ’19 in the 100-backstroke (1:01.24) and the 200-backstroke (2:14.83), Abigail Taylor-Roth ’19 in the 100-breaststroke (1:12.18), and Haley Jones ’18 in the 1000-freestyle (11:33.93). The Mules have depth, but will need more first and second place finishes if they are going to make their mark on the NESCAC this year.

Both teams showed that they have the talent to be competitive this year. The Mules will travel to Brunswick next weekend for the Maine State Meet before resuming NESCAC competition on January 9 at home against Middlebury.

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