By Samantha Gross
Elm Staff Writer
Need further proof that the Men’s Swim Team is seeing some vast improvements this year? They made defending conference champions Franklin & Marshall sweat in their Speedos in their latest meet. After winning the first event of the meet, the 400 Medley Relay, by a narrow .09 seconds, the team shocked the Diplomats, showing them a tough meet was ahead . With only a second and a third place finish to compete with Washington College’s first, they found themselves for probably the first time in a while starting out a meet losing to the Shoremen.
Of course, as seen by the final score of 125 to 79 in Franklin & Marshall’s favor, this streak did not continue the whole meet, but that does not mean the men fell behind too much. As senior captain, Austin Auger, said during the huddle at the end of the meet, “You all should be proud of yourselves. This is the first time I’ve ever seen F&M getting pumped up during a meet with us.” The meet after the medley continued in this manner. While the 1,000 yard freestyle saw lone swimmer Tad Derrick come in fourth behind the three F&M swimmers, the 200 freestyle saw another first place finish as freshman Austin Yocum came in with three seconds to spare. He was followed by freshman Spencer Kelley in fourth to average 11 points for the event compared to F&M’s nine. The 50 yard freestyle was a little more balance as the men scored points with a second place finish by freshman James Ray and a fifth place finish from freshman Steven Bilinski.
Starting the second third strong, freshman Gregory Lee continued his butterfly winning streak with a first place win in the 200 yard event. It was a fight this time as he narrowly beat his F&M opponent by little more than a second. Bilinski and senior Ross Mills rounded out the score with fourth and fifth places respectively. WAC managed yet another win in the 100 yard freestyle as Yocum too narrowly beat his opponent by .3 seconds. He was followed by Ray in third. The streak fell a little in the 200 yard backstroke as senior Nick Longworth came in third and Derrick came in fifth. The next event, the 500 yard freestyle, saw another set of second and fourth place finishes with Mix, swimming the race for the first time in college, and junior Spencer VanCise.
Finishing out the last third of the meet saw a slight streak as Auger, senior Johnny Helenek, and Derrick came in third, fourth, and fifth respectively in the 200 yard breaststroke. The boys gave a good last race in the 400 yard freestyle relay as they narrowly lost to F&M by .6 seconds. That race started out with Ray leading off in a 49.63, coming in two seconds behind the F&M lead. Lee caught up just a little in a 49.22, .7 seconds faster that his opponent.. Kelley continued swimming faster as he came in at a 49.63, ahead of F&M’s 50.06. Yocum too continued a faster streak in a 48.51, .2 faster than the anchor of F&M’s team. It was a strong finish, but just not quite enough to edge out the F&M relay. It is quite surprising to note, though, that Franklin & Marshall could not exhibition any events against the boys. To exhibition events usually occurs once a team starts accumulating enough points that they can win without scoring anymore. It is seen as a courtesy. For the first time in a while, the Washington College’s men’s team did not need this courtesy from the Diplomats.
This weekend should prove interesting as the men will go to their first of two big meets for the year this weekend at the Franklin & Marshall Invitational.