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Women's Swimming & Diving | Jumbos finish 1−2 after winter break

Published: Thursday, January 24, 2013

Updated: Thursday, January 24, 2013 07:01

wsandd

Scott Tingley / Tufts Daily Archives

Junior Jenny Hu took first place in the 100-yard breastroke in the Jumbos’ dual meet against MIT on Saturday.

After a month−long break from racing, the women’s swimming and diving team hit the water hard with back−to−back races this weekend. They lost in a rout to top−ranked MIT on Saturday, but came back on Sunday in a tri−meet against NESCAC rivals Williams and Wesleyan at Williams.

After the 266−109 loss to the Engineers, the Jumbos fell 198−100 to the Ephs, again losing to the top−ten ranked team.

With the Ephs out of their reach, the

Jumbos honed in instead on the Cardinals, who beat them at the same meet last year. It was a tight race between the Jumbos and the Cardinals, but the 200−yard freestyles relay team of sophomores Kathryn Coniglio, Scarlett Hao and Samantha Sliwinski and junior Jenny Hu pulled through in the last event of the day to give the Jumbos a 160−128 lead over the Cardinals.

The Jumbos posted their season−best time in the event by a second. According to Hu, who swam the third leg of the race, the atmosphere was energetic.

“We lost to Wesleyan last year, and we definitely wanted it more than they did this year,” she said.

According to coach Nancy Bigelow, Wesleyan has a strong but small squad, which the Jumbos were able to overwhelm with depth, such as in the 1650−yard freestyle, in which the Jumbos finished third, fourth, and fifth.

The 200−yard butterfly was another strong event for the Jumbos, with second−and−third place finishes by freshmen swimmers Maddie Golison and Sam Swinton.

However, according to Bigelow, the team could not have pulled out a victory against Wesleyan if it weren’t for the strong performance from the diving squad.

With junior Sami Bloom returning to action after a semester abroad, the diving squad was in full force and had strong showings at both meets.

This weekend’s outings came after the Jumbos spent the last two weeks of winter break in Puerto Rico, where they worked on base and fitness training, making this weekend’s events particularly draining.

“The trip is always tiring physically and mentally,” Bloom said. “This meet is always about rising up because everyone went on the same trip and is feeling it.”

For many swimmers, this weekend marks the last meet before the two−week long shave and taper process, where swimmers prepare for their final races of the season.

According to Bigelow, the upcoming Wheaton Invitational will be ideal both for the swimmers who are ending their seasons and for the 24 swimmers who will continue on to the conference championships two weeks later.

“I’m looking forward to everyone doing their best times,” Bigelow said. “They’ve been putting in a lot of hard work. We just want people to feel happy and satisfied that they’ve reached the goals they set for themselves.”

Bigelow expects the team to finish in the middle of the NESCAC pack, a slightly lower expectation than last year’s finish. As Bigelow described, the team is younger this year than in previous ones. `

“They’ll do their best and go out there and fight to the end but you have to be realistic,” Bigelow said. “If we finish in the middle of the pack that’s a successful season.”

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