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Women's Swimming & Diving | Jumbos come in second at MIT Invitational

Published: Monday, December 3, 2012

Updated: Monday, December 3, 2012 07:12

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Scott Tingley / Tufts Daily Archives

Senior KJ Kroetch helped the 400-yard medley relay team finish eighth as Tufts finished second at MIT amid tough competition.

 

Women’s swimming and diving finished off the semester strongly with a second-place result at this weekend’s MIT Invitational, improving on last year’s third-place showing. The Engineers captured a solid home victory at the tournament with a score of 1,347 — far ahead of Jumbos’ 647-point second-place finish. Keene State came in third, and Wheaton, Bowdoin, Colby and the Harvard diving squads also competed. 

Several swimmers posted personal-best times during the meet, and coach Nancy Bigelow was happy with the team’s performance.

“I think people really surprised themselves,” Bigelow said. “People just said ‘go for it and see what happens,’ and people really did go for it.”

The Jumbos remained strong in the breaststroke events, with junior Jenny Hu posting the highest Tufts finish with a second place in the 100-yard breaststroke. In fact, of the top 16 finishers in the 200-yard breaststroke, eight were Tufts swimmers.

Bigelow highlighted junior Simonne Dubois, who dropped almost eight seconds off her time in the 200-yard breaststroke and was a motivation to the team throughout the meet. This is Dubois’ last meet for the year because she is going abroad next semester, and Bigelow was impressed with the junior’s effort.

“Everyone learned something positive from this weekend,” Bigelow said. “It’s just what Simone taught everyone, that if you continue working hard and believe in yourself, anything is possible.”

The Jumbos also showed depth in the distance events, although less so than usual, possibly due to the fact that Tufts had just come off of a meet against Wellesley last Wednesday. Senior co-captain Christine Garvey came in fifth in the 1650-yard freestyle, her second of two top-five finishes. 

Sophomore Kathryn Coniglio posted her best time in the 100-yard freestyle, which puts her in a good position going into the NESCAC championship season, according to Hu.  

Meanwhile, senior Ali Maycranz performed well on the 3-meter dive with a score of 201.20. She came in fifth place behind three Harvard divers. 

The women also had strong results compared to the two other NESCAC schools, Bowdoin and Colby. Bigelow stressed that Tufts’ performance among non-NESCAC schools should be analyzed differently at the beginning of the season. Because of strict NESCAC regulations, the Jumbos were unable to start official practice until Nov. 1, months after their rivals had begun practicing. 

Many of the MIT and Keene St. swimmers are at the peak of their first cycle of training hard and then shaving and tapering, whereas the Tufts swimmers will only be able to go through the cycle once — right before  NESCACs.

Both the Engineers and the Owls have strong teams and high caliber swimmers, and the Tufts swimmers welcomed the chance to race against stiffer competition.

“It’s good for us to be around strong teams in a championship-like setting,” senior co-captain Amelia Rapisarda said. “It’s a good experience.”

The Jumbos were pleased with the outcome of the meet, especially on the heels of the strong meet against Wellesley.

“We did very well, considering we had such a great meet with Wellesley, Bigelow said. “It’s hard to be on with two meets so close together.”

The Jumbos are also hoping to carry the momentum from the two recent meets into their winter training program and into the heart of the season next semester. 

“We have a lot of work to do but a lot of potential for next semester,” Rapisarda said. “We had a good start to the season, though, in terms of both times and spirit.” 

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