Written by Kendra Lancaster
The Southwestern swim team ended their season this past weekend at the SCAC Championship meet. The women’s team ended up in sixth place in conference with a total of 386 points and the men ranked eighth place with 245 points.
The men’s team had a great improvement from the previous year, scoring 68 more points than they had at last year’s tournament. Probably the biggest award of the tournament was Southwestern winning the award for the Women’s Coaching Staff of the Year.
The team had a great show at the tournament this year, breaking a total of 20 school records and receiving seven All-Conference honors. A total of 11 swimmers made podium by placing top eight in their individual races.
Sophomore Bailey Thompson was the only swimmer to accomplish the difficult feet of winning an event. She placed first in the 200-meter backstroke with a time of 2:08.26. This was the first time in school history that any swimmer has been able to win in this specific event. First-year Sarah Ayers also joined Thompson on the podium by coming in eighth with a time of 2:15.20.
Senior Jessie Carrier also had an impressive showing in the women’s 100-meter freestyle, finishing in fourth place with a time of 52.57 seconds.
Another one of the new records set was in the women’s 400-meter freestyle relay with a time of 3:42.79. Ayers, sophomore Michelle Comerota, sophomore Samantha Kessler and Carrier placed fifth.
First-year Evan Firth finished in fifth place in the men’s 200-meter butterfly. He also beat the previous school record, with his time of 1:57.18 in his prelims.
The men’s 400-meter freestyle relay team, made up of Firth, first-year Travis Macha, sophomore Dustin McCammon and sophomore John Prater also made podium by coming in seventh place with a time of 3:16.54.
Macha also did well on his own, setting a new school record in the men’s 100-meter freestyle. He came in tenth place in the race with his record time of 48.06.
Even though the season had been a bit rocky at times, overall, it was a good ending to a good season.
“[The season] had it’s ups and downs, but at the end, everything fell in to place and we had a great season ending,” said sophomore Dustin McCammon. McCammon believes the team’s biggest highlight came from the SCAC tournament when the team had a swimmer come back for a finals everyday. Carrier agreed with McCammon, adding, “I am so proud of everyone on the team and our progress and accomplishments.”
Coach Kaupp said about the season, “We have made several strides forward this year. As a whole, the team is training at a higher level than previous years and is swimming faster in meets and in practice than before.”
Already the team is looking forward to next season and how they can improve. McCammon suggests that the team practices harder during the summer, and possibly work with a high school or club team. Firth adds that the boy’s team needs more swimmers. Currently, they are only down to seven, which means that they can not make up two complete relay teams. With another relay team, SU would have much more of a competitive edge.
Coach Kaupp said of next year, “Going into next season we need to build on the momentum that we have gained this year. The training environment of the team is exceptional and I look forward to seeing what next year can bring.”