The Tartans, Blue Jays, Wildcats and Tigers left the Hill sorry this past weekend after the Lords and Ladies beat all four Division-III teams in their Total Performance Sports Camps invitational meet (TPSC).
From Thursday through Saturday Kenyon hosted five teams, including D-III Carnegie Mellon University (Pittburgh), Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore), Davidson College (Davidson, N.C.) and conference fellows DePauw University, respectively. Kenyon also hosted one D-I school: the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia). After three long days, the Lords and Ladies both took second to Penn’s Quakers, but topped the next-best D-III schools by more than 500 points.
Together the Kenyon teams produced 27 top-three finishes and set three James A. Steen Aquatic Center pool records. The North Coast Athletic Conference athlete of the week, Julia Wilson ’18, was joined by Abby Wilson ’19 and Marysol Arce ’19 to set pool records in the 100-yard breaststroke, 200-yard freestyle and the 1,650-yard freestyle, respectively.
“I didn’t think it would happen this week,” Abby Wilson said. “It’s been a goal in the back of my mind but it wasn’t necessarily what I was aiming for. It was great to see how supportive everyone was of me.”
Abby Wilson has been swimming for 10 years with club teams and for her high school. She chose to attend Kenyon because she liked the balance between academics and athletics that the Kenyon swim team provides. On Saturday she broke the record for the 200 yard freestyle during the 800 yard freestyle relay with a time of 1:49.18, beating the record set by Hillary Yarosh ’14 in 2012‐13 by .11 seconds.
The Lords earned 29 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) qualifying times at TPSC, seven of which were part of relays.
“People were really excited for some fast swims,” Joey Duronio ’16 wrote in an email to the Collegian. “One that sticks out to me was Oscar Anderson’s 200 back in finals. He had an awesome race and the team was really excited for him.” Anderson ’17 had a NCAA qualifying time of 1:48.73 in the 200-yard backstroke.
Joining him, Duronio swam legs in four of those seven qualifying relays and attained NCAA qualifying times in the 100 freestyle, 200 fly and 200 freestyle events.
“Swimming is unique in that it is an individual and a team sport,” Head Coach Jess Book ’01 said. “In the moment it is very individual, when you are in your lane in the water and you have no contact with others. But it’s also a team — you’re connected to your team and relays are the best example of that.”
Ryan Funk ’16, Percy Gates ’16 and Alex Seaver ’17 joined Duronio in the pool for Saturday’s particularly intense final 200 freestyle relay. As the last event of the meet, this relay had every Kenyon Lord and Lady pumping their fists in the air on the pool deck, cheering their teammates on.
“One of our goals is to be the most energized and loudest group on deck, and I think that we really achieved that,” Abby Wilson said. “Everyone hit a best time or was close to their best time or had something they could be proud of.”
On the other end of the pool, Brandon Roman ’16 and Madeline Carlson ’19 both qualified for Zones, while Maria Zarkas ’16 scored a record-breaking 551.60 points on the three-meter diving board.
After the meet was over, Book called his team into a tight huddle and reminded them they are over halfway through the season. For Duronio, this final stretch of training is exciting but tough, since it marks his final months with the team.
With final scores of 1816.5 points for the Lords and 1866.5 for the Ladies, the teams look forward to entering championship-season training. The swim and dive teams will spend the first two weeks of the new year training in Florida before returning to the Hill for more training prior to classes starting in January.
The teams compete next on Jan. 4 against the United States Coast Guard Academy in Sarasota, Fla. The swim team will travel to Florida on Dec. 28 for two weeks of practice and warm weather.