This past weekend, both the men’s and women’s swim and dive teams competed in the Connecticut Cup here at Wesleyan. Across the board, many Cardinals put up brilliant performances, good enough for a third place finish for both squads.
For the women, Talia Lanckton ’22, Erin Angell ’19 and Sarah Goldman ’21 swept first, second and third, respectively, in both the one-meter and three-meter diving events. In the 1-meter, Lanckton recorded a mark of 186.10, with Angell close behind at 177.75 and Goldman at 154.15.
Mengmeng Gibbs ’22 had two individual first-place finishes, finishing the 100-yard breast with a time of 1:08.87 and the 50-yard breast in 31.58. All-American Caroline Murphy ’20 was the top-swimmer in the 500-yard back, clocking in at 28.32.
Hannah O’Halloran ’20 placed first in the 100-yard back with a time of 59.95, before placing second in the back (2:11.97). Rachel Townsend ’22 joined Murphy, O’Halloran and Gibbs on the 400-yard medley relay team which cruised to a first place finish with a time of 4:03.53.
On the men’s side, many Cardinals made a splash on the leaderboards. Nick Moran ’21 finished third in the 50-yard fly with a time of 24.39 and came in eighth in the 100-yard free with a time of 55.27.
Joel Groves ’21 placed fourth off the one-meter with a mark of 125.70, and fifth off the three-meter with a mark of 130.40. Brandon Pearson ’19 continued his dominance, achieving a pair of first-place finishes in both the one-meter and three-meter diving events. Off the one-meter board, Pearson recorded a mark of 222.20, while he had a mark of 222.30 off the three-meter board.
Pearson was on the fence about joining the team at the beginning of the school year, but he couldn’t stay away for long.
“While lifeguarding during [the team’s] captains’ practices, I realized how much I missed it and so the week before the season started I talked with the coaches and got back on the team, and have been loving it ever since,” Pearson said.
And what’s not to love about crushing the competition? In the team’s opening meet against Trinity and Bates, Pearson placed first in two events, registering a mark of 224.55 off the one-meter board and a mark of 204.80 off the three-meter board. He also won the one-meter dive with a mark of 199.87 in a loss to Amherst. But his success has not been without adversity.
“Because of some injuries and an extended period away from the sport, I haven’t been up to my full potential,” Pearson said of his recent performances. “I know we have some tough meets coming up and so I am more focusing on getting back to where I need to be so I can continue being the best athlete I know I can be.”
When asked about his goals for the season, Pearson was quite clear.
“I would like to make it to the NCAA Tournament again,” he said. “I went my freshman and sophomore seasons, and my sophomore year I actually placed 14th, so I would like to see how far I can take this season. I ended last year on a really rough note and I would like more than anything to end my diving career with something I can be proud of.”
Pearson, along with his fellow Cardinals, will get a chance to take down NESCAC rivals this weekend when both the men’s and women’s teams will host Tufts and Williams, as well as Worcester Polytechnic Institute, on Saturday, Dec. 8 at 1:00 p.m.
Nick Keating can be reached at email@example.com.