By Pat Mariboe
The Men and Women’s swim teams both started the new year with wins in their first two meets of 2016. The Shoremen finished 2015 with an undefeated 5-0 record in meets, while the Shorewomen posted a 2-3 record, after losing their first two meets of the season. Both teams were looking to carry over the momentum last year when they faced off against Elizabethtown and Swarthmore in dual meets.
The Shoremen got off to a good start against Elizabethtown when they won the first race of the meet, the 200-meter-medley-relay, with a team of sophomore Cody Weiler, freshman Tyler Cummings, senior Charles Logan, and junior Pat Elliot. Senior DJ Bradshaw and junior Jason Mercando also contributed to the Showmen’s big day, when they both won the 1,000- and 200-meter-freestyle, respectively. Freshman Karl Melchior, sophomore Kevin Mackenzie, senior Lucas Morgan, Cummings, Elliot, and Weiler all went on to win individual events of their own. The Shoremen dominated the competition, winning 129-69.
The Shorewomen raced in similar style, as sophomore Mackenzie Gaze, sophomore Katie Gorman, freshman Julia Portmann, junior Ellen Maxwell, and sophomore Jenni Clune finished first in all of their events. The Shorewomen went on to win both the 200-meter-medley-relay and the 200-meter-freestyle-relay and ultimately the meet, beating Elizabethtown 129-71. The Shorewomen won their second straight meet only a day later, beating Bryn Mawr 130-67.
Freshman Tricia Markey had some positive things to say after the team’s dominant performances against Elizabethtown and Bryn Mawr and her hopes for success at the Centennial Conference Championships in late February.
“Being only a freshman and only being on the team one year now, I can say that as far as our Championships go, I think we can place really well and get some all time bests in our races,” she said. “As for the rest of the season, we just need to show these other teams what we are bringing to champs at the end of the season.”
In the second dual meet of the month, both teams faced off against Swarthmore in a Centennial Conference matchup at home. For the men’s team, Morgan and Elliot won three of their events in dominating fashion. Morgan won the 1,000-meter-freestyle, 200-meter-individual-medley, and 100-meter-breaststroke, while Elliot won the 200-meter-freestyle, 100-meter-freestyle, and 500-meter-freestyle. Senior Brent Longenecker, Weiler, Bradshaw, and Mackenzie won the 200-freestyle-relay while Cummings finished first in an individual event of his own, helping the Shoremen win 121-84, remaining undefeated, and handing Swarthmore their first loss of the season.
The women’s team did not share the same success, however, as they lost to Swarthmore 114-91. Portmann had three first place finishes and Maxwell, Gaze, and Gorman contributed to first place finishes of their own, but were not able to trump the visiting team. The Shorewomen have a 4-4 record after the loss.
Markey, who finished in both the 1,000-meter and 500-meter-freestyle, took positives from the team’s recent loss to Swarthmore.
“Even though we had some amazing races, something we can take from the Swarthmore defeat is that we just need to keep pushing ourselves and really finding the ultimate limit,” said Markey. “Even the little things we do daily can help us too, like eating smarter and staying healthy during the winter season.”
As the season winds down, both teams have only three Centennial Conference meets remaining against Ursinus, Dickinson, and McDaniel. Markey believes that with the right mentality, the team can head into the Championships with some momentum.
“I think all of us as a team would agree that what we really look for in the rest of the season is that each and everyone of us giving 110 percent in every single one of our races,” she said. “Whether it be our regular event or not, no matter what place we get, we try our hardest because every little point counts, and most importantly, supporting our teammates is something we take very seriously. If you ever came to one of our home meets, you can clearly see how much team spirit and energy we put into cheering for our team members. So if we keep supporting each other like we have been and putting in that 110 percent, then we will be exactly where we want to be by the end of the season.”