The Wesleyan swimming team kicked off its season on Saturday, Nov. 17 by hosting Bates College. The women’s team came away from the meet with a tight win after beating Bates by a score of 91.5 to 84.5. The men kept it close until the end, winning three of the nine events and only trailing by 15 points heading into the final heats. Unfortunately, Bates won the two diving events 26-0 on their way to a 117-76 point victory.

The women brought home several victories, including three one-two finishes that helped push them to victory. Angela Slevin ’15 finished first and Liyan Yao ’16 second to combine for a one-two finish in the two hundred meter backstroke. Additionally, Rachel Hirsch ’15 and Roxy Capron ’14 finished first and second, respectively, in the two hundred-meter breaststroke to help push the Cardinals to victory. The third one-two combination came from sophomores Alexa Burzinski and Amanda Distler in the two hundred-meter butterfly.

Cara Colker-Eybel ’13 was trailing the top Bates entry by 1.55 seconds entering the final 50-meter freestyle section in the final event—the two hundred-meter individual medley. She beat her competitor by 1.83 seconds over that last 50 meters to win by .28 seconds. Had she lost, Bates would have beaten Wesleyan by three points. Slevin, Hirsch, Burzinski, and Colker-Eybel also won the four hundred-meter medley relay by a comfortable six seconds.

On the men’s side, Brendan Fortin ’13 won the five hundred-meter freestyle by two-thirds of a second after leading from start to finish. The Cardinals’ second victory came during the four hundred medley relay, which was led by Nick Huston ’13. The third and final Wesleyan win came from Billy Hepner ’16 in the two hundred-meter breaststroke, with Wes Fantini ’13 finishing in second to give the men their only one-two finish.

The men and women competed again on Monday, Nov. 19 when they hosted Little Three Rival Amherst. The men lost 168-96 with Amherst winning 15 of the 16 events.  Wesleyan’s only victory came from Jacques Bazile ’16 in the one hundred-meter breaststroke with a time of 1:00.61, while Wes Fantini ’13 came in second.

The women fared better, although they still lost 167-109. Slevin and Hirsch both performed well, with Slevin winning both the one hundred- and two-hundred meter backstroke and Hirsch grabbing first place in the one hundred meter breaststroke. Hirsch also finished second by only a third of a second in the two hundred meter breaststroke.

The next meet for the Cardinals is a home meet on Saturday, Dec. 1 against Brandeis University.

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