Women's swim team wins against Brown 164-137
Every year since Coach Betsy Wilson took charge of the women's swim team five years ago, the Big Green have improved their record. Last year, they had one of their best seasons in history with a 7-4 record (4-3 Ivy League), but this year they are looking to gain even more points in their meets.
Fortunately, the team lost only one senior to graduation last year, leaving the core intact. Seven first-year swimmers and one transfer student joined the 14 returning swimmers, giving the Big Green the potential to be one of the top teams in the Ivy League.
After last night's 164-137 victory over Brown in their opening meet, the Big Green are on their way to fulfilling their goal. Dartmouth opened the meet by winning the 200 medley relay in 1:48.93, only a tenth of a second slower than the pool record. But although the Big Green did not break the record on the 200 medley relay, they managed to break many others.
Deb Whitney '96 broke two pool records, winning the 100 freestyle in 53.10 and the 200 freestyle in 1:53.77. Whitney barely missed her third pool record in the 500 freestyle finishing with a time of 5:08.40.
The 500 freestyle was, perhaps, the most exciting event of the meet. Whitney trailed for most of the race, but pulled ahead on the last 25 meters to win by three hundredths of a second.
Team captain Cory Murphy '95 also contributed to the pool record breaking trend by winning the 100 backstroke in 58.45. Andrea Hill '97 and Karen Bysshe '96 also added to Dartmouth's success by winning two individual events each.
Dartmouth's domination of the meet was threatened only by an errant fire alarm just before the 200 butterfly. But the Big Green responded to the false alarm by sweeping the top three places.
The first-year swimmers also helped power the team to the victory. They were led by Catherine Sterling '98, Dartmouth's top finisher in the 1000 freestyle. Sterling also finished fourth in the 500 freestyle and second in the 200 butterfly.
Erin Rincet '98 came up with a fourth place finish in the 200 individual medley with a time of 2:22.12 and Laura Hoffman '98 took a fifth place finish in the 200 backstroke.
"The potential of the freshmen is the same as the potential of every freshman class," Wilson said. "It depends on how hard they work and how hard they train."
Perhaps, the Big Green's biggest asset is their training program. Since Wilson's arrival five years ago, the quality of the program has improved dramatically.
"The quantity and the quality of the work has improved, and that's because of the people here," she said. "As an indicator, our distance group has already put in four weeks of over 50,000 yards. Last year, our distance group didn't put in any weeks over 50,000 yards with the exception of winter training."
The team is focused on achieving three goals this year. The first goal is to have a winning season, the second is for every swimmer to swim at least one lifetime best in one or more of her events and the final team goal is for each member to have at least a 3.0 GPA.
Dartmouth goes into action again Dec. 8 against the University of New Hampshire at 5 p.m. at the Carl B. Michael Pool in the Berry Sports Center.