Swimming and diving teams finish 1st and 2nd at home

by Kourtney Kawano | 2/5/15 6:01pm

02.06.15.sports.swimming_Natalie-Cantave
Taylor Yamahata ’18 led the way for the women’s swimming and diving team with dominant individual performances.
Source: Natalie Cantave

In their final non-conference meets of the season, the men’s swimming and diving team defeated the University of Connecticut 177-123 while the women’s team lost to the Huskies by a score of 166-134. The men’s win marked its first home and its second overall win of the season.

“Overall, the teams did a great job,” assistant coach Alexi Kuska said. “Everyone swam hard and strategically.”

Though the Huskies earned the top spots in the one-meter and three-meter diving contests for both men and women, the Big Green earned critical points from its top finishers. Ryan Shelley ’15 and Brett Gillis ’16 placed second and third from the one-meter board with scores of 278.32 and 269.77 respectively. Gillis went on to place third from the three-meter board behind Taylor Clough ’17, who finished in second-place with 320.70 points.

The women’s diving team struggled against the Huskies, who earned the top four spots in both events. Kendall MacRae ’15 placed fifth from the three-meter board with a score of 238.05, while Fiona Weeks ’15 placed sixth with a score of 235.65. Weeks and Macrae placed fifth and sixth, respectively, on the one-meter board.

After earning key points in the diving events, men’s swimming dominated UConn to win the meet.

James Verhagen ’16, Aaron Athanas ’16, David Harmon ’17 and Ian Woon ’15 represented the Big Green’s A team in the 200-yard medley relay. The four won the race in a time of 1:31.93, shortly ahead of Dartmouth’s B team, comprised of Henry Senkfor ’18, Jay Schulte ’15, Tate Ramsden ’17 and Daniel Whitcomb ’16.

“Starting the meet with a win in the relay sets a positive tone,” Verhagen said. “Every good swim lifts the confidence of the entire team.”

Verhagen swept the backstroke events, taking first in the 100-yard in 50.50 seconds and the 200-yard in 1:51.81. Harmon won the 100-yard butterfly with a 50.52 second finish, and Verhagen came in third to add to his strong day.

Misha Tovmashenko ’18 and Tony Shen ’18 claimed the top two spots in the 200-yard freestyle with respective times of 1:41.60 and 1:41.82. Later, Tovmashenko and Shen carried that momentum, teaming up with Woon and Whitcomb to win the 400-yard freestyle relay with a time of 3:05.98.

Woon and Tovmashenko also swam a close race in the 100-yard freestyle, taking the top two spots with respective times of 46.72 seconds and 46.77 seconds.

Schulte swam an impressive 2:08.81 in the 200-yard breaststroke, finishing more than two seconds ahead of teammates Konrad von Moltke ’15 and Timo Vaimann ’17, who took second and third in the event. In the 200-yard individual medley, Athanas finished the race in 1:54.55, nearly four seconds before Senkfor touched the wall to earn second place.

This meet, Schulte said, was the team’s last “grind-it-out” meet before heading into league championships.

“It feels great to help the team to a win,” Schulte said, “We had a lot of good swims against UConn in the midst of a pretty intense week of training.”

Although the women’s team fell short against UConn, several individuals had outstanding performances. The A teams for the 200-yard medley relay and the 400-yard freestyle relay both placed first with times of 1:48.08 and 3:32.63.

Taylor Yamahata ’18 dominated her three individual events, claiming first in the 100-yard backstroke with 57.81 seconds, 200-yard backstroke with 2:04.58 and 200-yard individual medley with 2:09.66.

Her first win in the 200-yard medley relay — alongside Madeleine Dunn ’17, Emily Holt ’16 and Charlotte Kamai ’16 — Yamahata said, built her enthusiasm for her later races.

AnnClaire MacArt ’18, Olivia Samson ’16 and Hayley Winter ’18 earned the top three spots in the 1000-yard freestyle, with MacArt winning the race in 10:35.49, more than four seconds ahead of Samson. MacArt also placed second in the 200- and 500-yard freestyle races with times of 1:52.97 and 5:01.73.

In the 200-yard butterfly, Sasha Alcon ’15 out-touched UConn’s Holly Gallagher to come in second with a time of 2:08.54. Kamai swam the 50-yard freestyle in 24.55 seconds for third place and finished second in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 52.34 seconds. Katie Altmayer ’18 and Holt finished in second and third in the 100-yard butterfly with respective times of 58.80 seconds and 59.13 seconds.

Despite dropping the matchup against the Huskies, the women remain confident in their ability to succeed as the conference season comes to a close.

“Our team has made huge improvements,” Yamahata said. “We’ll just continue to maintain our passion and race hard.”

The swimming and diving teams will return to conference season play on the last day of Dartmouth’s Winter Carnival with a meet against rival Columbia University this Sunday. The men will look to extend their win streak and continue their success at Dartmouth’s Karl Michael Pool while the women will seek their first win this season before the Ivy League Championships start on Feb. 19.