In Louisville, Ky. this past weekend, the Southwestern swim team was able to evaluate the efforts of its hard work at the Conference Championship.
On the men’s side, the first day of the meet resulted in a sixth place finish for the men’s 200 freestyle relay which finished in 1:29.81 and was swam by Patrick Flanigan, John Prater, Stephen Montes and Josh Stanfield. Stanfield, Jon LaRochelle, Flanigan and Prater made a seventh place finish for the 400 medley relay. First-year Flanigan, who is also a member of the men’s soccer team, finished 11th in the 50 yard freestyle with a time of 22.24.
Prater finished 12th, five hundredths behind him with a time of 22.29. Prater also finished second in the consolation final of the 100 yard freestyle with a time of 48.95.
“My favorite part about SCAC was the way the team really came together. It is a great feeling to be a part of a team that respects and supports one another, and I think we saw that from the whole team this year at conference, from everyone cheering during a race to lifting each other up after a tough swim.” senior LaRochelle said, who has served as a team co-captain for two years.
On the second day, SU got this rolling with a seventh place finish in the 200 medley relay. The team of Stanfield, LaRochelle, Flanigan and Prater finished with a time of 1:42.51. The ‘B’ squad of Steven Weddell, Thomas Newman, Taylor Steele and Stephen Montes finished in 14th with a time of 1:51.77.
The men’s team shares many similar best strokes and events as Prater and La Rochelle took 12th and 15th respectively in the 100 breaststroke. Prater finished in 1:01.95 while LaRochelle came in at 1:03.98. Flanigan followed with an 11th place finish in the 100 back with a time of 56.42 while Stanfield come in 15th at 58.49.
Flanigan also finished in 16th place in the 100 fly with a time of 55.37, while the 800 free relay comprised of Steele, Montes, Weddell and Newman had the second highest finish of the day for Southwestern in ninth place with a time of 7:54.00. LaRochelle finished fifth in the consolation final of the 200 breastroke with a time of 2:18.59.
The team dynamic really became apparent when seeing the finalists, especially the seniors, take to the blocks knowing it was going to be their last race of the season or career even.
Such an ultimatum brought every swimmer poolside to cheer for and fuse with their family of teammates who mounted the blocks thinking ‘this is it,’” first-year Newman said.
For the women’s team, day one of the SCAC Championships concluded with the highest finish by junior Bailey Thompson in the 200 Individual Medley with a time of 2:14.82. First-year Melissa Nelson finished 14th with a time of 2:18.84 and first-year Elizabeth Lewis finished 16th with a time of 2:20.38.
The Pirates’ other top 10 finish was in the 200 free relay where the team of Michele Comerota, Katie Coleman, Christine Moody and Sarah McCausland finished in seventh place in the 200 yard freestyle relay coming in with a time of 1:47.69.
Lewis also finished 16th in the 500 free with at time of 5:31.05. A 15th place finish in the 400 yard medley relay was achieved by McCausland, senior Stephanie Morton, senior Anya Lopez-Fuentes and Comerota who came in at 4:38.05. Thompson, Comerota, Ayers and Nelson finished sixth in the 400 yard freestyle relay.
The second day of the SCAC Championships, the women’s team moved up one place in the standings after four top five finishes in eight events.
Sophomore Ayers had a major accomplishment by placing second in the 100 back coming in at 58.97 for an NCAA DIII B Cut time and fourth in the 100 fly with a time of 59.40. Junior Thompson finished just behind Ayers in the 100 back, taking third place in 59.53 which was also an NCAA DIII B Cut time.
Ayers and Thompson joined up with teammates McCausland, and Melissa Nelson in the 200 yard medley relay and captured fifth with a time of 1:55.06.
The Southwestern ‘B’ relay team of Christine Moody, Stephanie Morton, Anya Lopez-Fuentes and Coleman came in 16th in the event in a time of 2:08.30.
“I think that all of the hard work we have put in, and the incredible amount of time we have spent together really comes out. It is the last and most important meet of the season, and I think that the energy we put in throughout the season comes out in full force during those three intense days,” LaRochelle said.