by Nathaniel Bailey | Contributing Writer
While much of Tufts’ student body has been kicking back for the past month and enjoying the time off, the swimming and diving teams have been hard at work in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., for two weeks of intense training.
“It was a great opportunity for us to focus on so many things because there are absolutely no distractions, no school, and you’re not at home,” senior co-captain Owen Rood said. “It allowed us to maintain a very high level of focus that’s basically impossible as a student athlete at any school, and I think it really paid off.”
And just two days after the teams flew back north, the Jumbos got the chance to show off their improvements on Saturday in a tri-meet against Williams and Wesleyan in Middletown, Conn. The men’s squad split the meet, falling to Williams 201-93 and easily defeating Wesleyan 212-69, bringing their record to 3-2 for the season.
Rood had several strong performances Saturday with three first-place finishes, including a time of 21.54 in the 50-yard freestyle and 47.38 in the 100-yard freestyle. Rood also combined with freshman John Devine and sophomores Kyle Savidge and Austin Wood for a victory in the 400-yard freestyle relay, finishing in 3:14.13. A second relay for the Jumbos took second in the race with a time of 3:17.47. Wood added another strong performance in the 200-yard freestyle, placing third with a time of 1:47.78.
The women’s squad fell to both opponents on Saturday. The Cardinals edged out a win over the Jumbos 132-126, and the Ephs topped the Jumbos 171-91, which brought Tufts’ record to 3-3 on the season.
Despite the losses, the Jumbos posted strong times throughout the meet. Sophomore Mia Greenwald won the 100- and 200-meter butterflies while also aiding two strong relay finishes, while her time of 2:09:97 in the 200-meter butterfly earned her first by a margin of 3.34 seconds. In the 100-meter butterfly, she swam a 58.19, touching just two-tenths of a second ahead of Williams senior Carolyn Geller.
“It was a hard meet for us because people respond differently to training that intense but we went out there and executed our races really well and touched the wall first a couple of times, and that’s what you like to see,” Rood said.
Tufts has hosted only one swim meet thus far this season, at which the women defeated Keene State 172-124 and the men defeated them 163-133 on Nov. 20. Saturday marks the final home competition and the team’s senior recognition meet against MIT.
“We’re all really excited, especially to do it at our pool. It’s definitely not the best or fastest in the NESCAC, but it’s a really great environment. It’s a smaller venue, so you’ve got all the fans right next to the pool; it’s practically like they’re in the race. There’s nothing else like it,” Rood said. “It’ll be a really nice day to just be proud and think about what you did for the team and what the team did for you.”