By Alex Pjinowski
This past weekend, Kenyon’s swim teams hosted the Total Performance Swim Camps Invitational, with Kenyon finishing second in both the men’s and the women’s divisions. In both cases, the teams were topped by the University of Pennsylvania Quakers. Several records fell over the course of the weekend; four were claimed by the Quakers, and one by the Lords.
Harrison Curley ’15 had a historic performance in the 200-yard backstroke. His finals time of 1:45.80 broke the pool record. Although he acknowledged being aware that his personal best time was close to the record, Curley said his focus was not on chasing the top time.
“I just wanted to win,” he explained. “I just wanted to beat the guy next to me, see what [time] I could go and that’s it.” Curley, who also owns the record for the 400-yard individual medley and is in his first year at Kenyon after transferring from the Division I University of Florida, said he has felt welcomed by his teammates and coaches this season.
Other Kenyon men with stellar swims included Trevor Manz ’17, who placed second in the 200-yard breaststroke and second in 200-yard individual medley, and his brother Wes Manz ’15, who placed fourth in 100-yard freestyle. Joe Guilfoyle ’15 finished third in 500-yard freestyle.
“I’m really excited for this team, just because of the energy I see with everybody and the way we’ve been attacking practice well all year,” Wes Manz said.
The women’s team was also came close to breaking some records. Katie Kaestner ’16 won the 100-yard breaststroke and the 200-yard backstroke and her time of 1:02.77 in the 100 was extremely close to the current record of 1:02.43. For her dominant performance, Kaestner was awarded the North Coast Athletic Conference Swimmer of the Week award.
“It’s an honor and it’s nice to be recognized for the hard work, but there is still more to come, ” Kaestner said.
Also turning in fantastic swims was Mariah Williamson ’16, who was second in the 500-yard freestyle, and fourth in the 400-yard individual medley and 200-yard butterfly.
Many team members said they benefited from being well rested for this meet. Although the competition lasted three days, it was preceded by a week of Thanksgiving break and then a week of taper, which is a period of training during which yardage and intensity are decreased.
“It was definitely nice to have some time to sleep more over break, and I think that it was a good mental break before the next couple weeks and months, which will be very difficult,” Williamson said.
Neither the men’s nor the women’s teams will compete again until next semester. They will both participate in the Washington University Quad Meet on Jan. 7, 2014 in Sarasota, Fla. In the meantime, the team plans to continue training with intensity and focus. Head Coach Jess Book ’01 said the nature of the training will now shift to “race-specific work,” and that strategy will be a priority. The workout regimen will involve a team trip to Florida to train together over part of winter break.
Book said he wants his swimmers to appreciate their successes this weekend, but is making sure to remind them that they’re not done.
“This is not the focus of the season,” he said. “We are not focused on this past weekend, but it’s a nice chance to swim fast, get some feedback on where we are, and most importantly, it’s just another stepping stone along the way to Conference in February and NCAAs in March.”
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