The men’s and women’s swim and dive teams both defeated the Brandeis Judges last weekend. The former was competed in a tightly contested meet, while the latter pulled off a lopsided blowout.
The men edged out their counterparts from Brandeis 135-102. Highlights of the bout were first place finishes from the Wesleyan 200-yard medley and 200 free relay teams, two individual wins from Erik Yan ’15, and sweeping the top three in the 200 breaststroke.
Wesleyan kicked off the afternoon with the 200 medley relay, finishing 0.8 seconds in front of the Judges. Strong splits from flyer Yan and breaststroker Jacques Bazile ’16 powered the Cards to the close victory.
The middle-distance 200 free race saw the Cards claim three of the top four spots. James Gaston ’15, swimming in his first race after transferring to Wesleyan, put up a 1:49.8 time to grab the second spot behind Brandeis’s top swimmer, Brian Luk. Russell Madison ’14 and Andrew Gartley ’17 wrapped up the top four in the race, also earning points.
Billy Hepner ’16 built off a strong preseason in his first meet of the season, grabbing the top spot in the 100 breast sprint, coming in just over 1:03, a second ahead of fellow Cardinal Bazile, the second-place finisher.
Hepner, though, was beaten by newcomer Spencer Daus-Haberle ’17 in the 200-yard breaststroke race. Daus-Haberle, who finished 0.7 seconds ahead of Hepner in that race, came on strong in the last two laps, finally catching his sophomore counterpart in the last length of the race.
Zachary Carfi ’17 rounded out the top three in that race, highlighting the strength Wesleyan has found in its young trio of breaststrokers. This will no doubt be an interesting event to follow as the season develops, as the three young men push each other through the year.
Yan swam the 100- and 200-yard fly events, winning by 16 seconds in the longer race to make his still-comfortable two-second margin in the 100 seem like a nail-biter.
On the subject of nail-biters, we come to the women’s race, in which the Cardinals took 217 of 252 possible points. Wesleyan took the top spot in 15 of their 16 events, and the top two spots in 12 of those 15.
Underclassmen once again dominated the meet, with Serena Zalkowitz ’17 winning both of her individual events and her team winning both relays in which she participated. Zalkowitz won the two freestyle sprints, had the best split in the freestyle relay, and anchored the medley relay that finished first of the three Wesleyan teams that competed in the event.
“We brought in a very strong freshman class this year,” said Angela Slevin ’15. “Besides obvious talent, they bring energy to the team and we’re very excited to see how they do this year as we enter our NESCAC schedule.”
Liyan Yao ’16 won two of her three individual events, beating Liz Baumgartner ’15 by just .3 seconds in the 100 backstroke and pacing the 200 medley at 2:23.2.
“It was very exciting, a lot of these underclassmen winning in their first official collegiate races,” Slevin said.
Old faithfuls Roxy Capron ’14 and Slevin both won their two individual events and were parts of the medley and relay squads that were victorious. Capron handily finished on top of both the 100 and 200 breaststroke, and Slevin did the same in the 200 back and 200 free, the former of which she finished 15 seconds ahead of her next closest competitor.
Natasha Cucullo ’15 contributed in her first meet since transferring to Wes, grabbing the top spot in both the one- and three-meter dives.
The Cards will head to Bates this weekend for their first NESCAC meet of the season, where Trinity will also compete. The one-meter diving event will take place Friday, Nov. 22, and the rest of the meet will take place the next day.
On the women’s side, Trinity was the worst team at NESCACs last year, and Bates finished fifth in the conference, 100 points ahead of the Cardinals, who were eighth. Trinity was also last in men’s NESCACs last year, while Bates was seventh, almost 200 points ahead of tenth-place Wesleyan.