Section: Sports

Swim squads dominate Wittenberg and OWU

Swim squads dominate Wittenberg and OWU

Kenyon swimming and diving is slowly winding down its regular season to prepare for their championship run, but they continue to blow away their competition in the pool.

Launching off two weeks of training in Florida, the Lords and Ladies crushed their competition on Friday and Saturday, beating Wittenberg University 219-80 and 209-79 and Ohio Wesleyan University 151-65 and 149-56, respectively.

“The focal point of this week was just racing and competing,” Head Coach Jess Book ’01 said, noting a reduced emphasis on split times. “Having that flexibility can be enjoyable.”

Book wanted the swimmers to have a “little bit more fun” this weekend. With the season now nearly two-thirds of the way finished, Book hoped the two dual meets would offer a much-needed “mental and emotional break” before the team competes in the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) regional championship in mid-February.

The weekend was sentimental for the team, as the seniors swam their last dual meet during Saturday’s Senior Day against OWU. Both days had athletes swimming in their so-called “second” events, allowing many swimmers to swim personal bests in events in which they normally do not compete.

One such athlete was Katie Kaestner ’16, primarily a breaststroker, who chose to compete in various sprint freestyle events, butterfly and backstroke races over the weekend. Kaestner helped secure four first-place finishes for the Ladies, including in the 100 individual medley (IM) and 100 backstroke against Wittenberg on Friday and in the 50 free on Saturday against OWU. On Saturday, Kaestner also joined Hannah Lobb ’16, Haley Townsend ’16 and Jenner McLeod ’17 to claim victory in the 200-yard freestyle relay.

“You can surprise yourself,” Kaestner said. “Your main events can be stressful, so it’s nice to put your mind off of those things and swim something completely different.”

Kaestner was one of 15 seniors recognized over the weekend for both her success and years of commitment to the team. The senior Lords and Ladies notched a number of wins over the weekend, including in both 200-yard medley relays against Wittenberg. The team composed of seniors Ryan Funk, Percy Gates, Mark Newell, and Joey Duronio took first with a time of 1:33.32, while seniors Haley Townsend, Hannah Lobb, Natalie Parker and Megan Morris won in 1:49.67.

Mariah Williamson ’16 also won the 1,000 freestyle event while Maria Zarka ’16 took first in both the one-meter and three-meter diving events against Wittenberg for the Ladies; also on Friday, Funk took first in the 50-yard backstroke and the 100-yard breaststroke, and Brandon Roman ’16 placed first on the 1-meter and 3-meter boards.

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