By EVAN HICKS
The University of Mary Washington swim teams held their first home meet in Goolrick Natatorium last Saturday, Oct. 8, against the Howard University Bisons. Both teams came out looking strong, but the Eagles brought home wins in both the men’s and women’s divisions.
The Eagles’ women won by an impressive 106-point margin, 182-76, and the men defeated the Bison 153-106, a solid 47-point margin of victory. The Eagles got their season off to a strong start by picking up both victories at their first dual meet.
“I thought it was good for our first time racing,” Head Coach Abby Brethauer said. “Most of them haven’t raced since February, so it’s good to get the cobwebs out, but we have a lot of details to improve on. There’s still a lot of work to be done, but thankfully we have a long season.”
The Lady Eagles had several wins throughout the course of the meet. Sophomore Jessica Singer won the grueling 1000 freestyle with a time of 11:01.08. Fellow sophomores Tara Banks and Amber Kerico won events as well, with Banks taking the 200 free at 2:05.05 and Kerico winning the 200 fly with a 2:16.15 time.
Freshman Casey Williams finished with a 1:13.97 time in the 100 breaststroke to win that event, and Singer won another event as she took first in the 100 free with a final time of 56.09. The ladies also had a victory in the 200 yard medley relay, as the UMW team that consisted of senior Chrissy Boyer, freshman Robin Brazier, and sophomores Kristen Callahan and Elizabeth Lewan finished with a time of 2:00.93.
Additionally, senior Kelly Scott won the 100 fly with 1:02.06 and Brazier took first place in the 200 IM at 2:19.51.
“The season’s been really successful so far,” sophomore Kristen Callahan said. “We have a strong group of freshmen. We went to American Unviersity for relays and we won our first swim meet. We’re starting this new thing called ‘Crossfit.’ We’re doing really intense dry land. I think it’s successful, but we have a long way to go.”
UMW’s 200 medley relay team of freshman Hugh Anderson, senior Austin Clark, junior Nick Eckhoff and senior Billy Norfolk finished with a time of 1:37.25 to win their event. Eckhoff also won the 200 free after finishing at 1:47.37, and Anderson won the 200 IM with a time of 1:58.38.
Norfolk won both the 100 butterfly (52.45) and the 200 yard butterfly (1.55.43). Freshman Thomas Rinaldi won the 100 backstroke with a time of 55.84 and Mike Hudgins won the 200 backstroke at 2:01.93.
The Eagles got off to a good start, and are on their way to accomplishing their lofty goals.
“We’re trying to win conferences on both sides by over a thousand,” Callahan said. “We want to break a thousand points, men and women. We want to get a group of men and women to Nationals.”
The Eagles have a week off before a critical home meet against Washington & Lee University next Friday at 7 p.m.
“Our next meet is probably our biggest meet.” Brethauer said. “It’s against Washington & Lee. We’re definitely going to be working on our starts and flip turns. The swimming is fine, but there are some details that need smoothing out before the next meet.”