–by Zach McGowan//Daily Staff Writer
Need proof of how well the women’s swimming and diving team did this weekend? After 13 of 18 events, the Jumbos were no longer to score team points.
They were already too far ahead.
After three straight losses since returning from winter break, Tufts cruised to a tri-meet sweep against host Wheaton and WPI, defeating the Lyons 191-158 and the Engineers 210-149.
Tufts placed first in every race but two: the 100-yard breaststroke and the 50-yard backstroke, and freshman Sam Sliwinski was only eight hundredths of a second away from claiming that race for the Jumbos as well.
“It was definitely a confidence booster for all of us,” sophomore Emma Van Lieshout said. “A lot of swimmers won races or placed who usually don’t, and some swimmers set personal bests.”
The 200-yard medley relay team of junior K.J. Kroetch, sophomores Jenny Hu and Mia Greenwald, and senior Courtney Adams started the Jumbos off strong with a first-place finish. Greenwald continued this success in her later events, winning both the 50-yard butterfly and the 100-yard butterfly.
Hu also had a strong performance for Tufts, capturing the 100-yard individual medley, in which Adams and senior Paulina Ziolek rounded out the top three, and the 50-yard breaststroke. Adams won the 100-yard freestyle, and was a part of the fastest 200-yard freestyle relay team.
The freshman got in on some of the Jumbos’ success as well. Freshman Amanda Wachenfeld won the 500-yard freestyle and the 1000-yard freestyle. Sliwinski won the 50-yard freestyle wth a time of 25.77 seconds. Classmate Kathryn Coniglio, along with sophomores Emma Van Lieshout and Jen Konick, finished with the top three times in the 200-yard backstroke. Konick and Coniglio had already taken first and second in the 100-yard backstroke earlier in the meet.
Senior Katie Russell won the 200-yard fly and Ziolek won the 200-yard breaststroke. More impressive than the number of first place finishes was the total number of Jumbos who placed and earned points for the team. In addition to the two already mentioned, Tufts had two more top-three finishes: Freshman Scarlett Hao, sophomore Laura Burns, and Van Lieshout swept the 200-yard individual medley, and Hu, Adams, and Ziolek swept the 100-yard individual medley.
The divers joined in on the Jumbos’ impressive performance; sophomore Sami Bloom led all divers in the 1-meter dive with a score of 274.13, and senor Kelly Flanagan finished just behind Bloom. In the 3-meter dive however, Flanagan secured a Tufts victory with a score of 238.65.
The Jumbos ended the meet just as strongly as they started it, with not one but two 200-yard freestyle relay teams having the fastest times at the meet.
This meet was important for the Jumbos because they will be swimming in the same pool next weekend at the Wheaton Invitational, where swimmers will make their final adjustments and taper in preparation for conference championships.
“This meet was good to get used to the pool, the blocks, and the whole environment,” Van Lieshout said. “It was a good chance for us to work on our race strategies in preparation for next weekend.”
With the victory the women’s swimming and diving team improves to 5-4 on the season, and will return to Wheaton next weekend for an invitational meet; it will be the last action the Jumbos see until the NESCAC Championships in mid-February.