The Kenyon women’s swim team ended a two-match losing streak this past Friday with their defeat of Ohio Wesleyan University (OWU) 172-52. The Ladies, who are ranked No. 1 in the nation by the College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America, have now finished all of their regular-season matches and are preparing for the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) Championship.
This victory marks the seventh year in a row in which the Kenyon College Ladies have defeated OWU in a head-to-head matchup. During this impressive streak, the Ladies’ lowest margin of victory was 62 points.
The meet began with the 200-yard medley relay, where seniors Abby Wilson, Caitlin Foley, Hannah Orbach-Mandel and Sophia Kuvan teamed up to secure a first-place finish with a time of 1:49.67.
In the 200-yard freestyle, Wilson finished again in first place, timing in at 1:54.70. Later in the meet, Wilson would pick up her third first-place finish of the event, winning the 100-yard backstroke in 59.61.
Celina German ’21 also won multiple events throughout the meet, finishing first in the 50-yard freestyle (24.91) and the 100-yard freestyle (59.61). Other Ladies swim victories included: the 200-yard individual medley, where Kendall Vanderhoof ’20 finished in 2:11.51; the 100-yard fly in which Makena Markert ’21 posted a time of 59.84; and the 500-yard freestyle, where Caylee Hamilton ’21 won with a time of 5:21.12.
In the diving competition, Myra Miller posted 214.90 points for the 1-meter board and 231.75 on the 3-meter board.
The Ladies’ next competition, the NCAC championships, will begin Feb. 13 at Denison University’s Trumbull Aquatics Center. The Ladies are looking to follow up on their stellar performance last year, when they won the event, and secure their 25th NCAC championship.
Last Friday, the Kenyon men’s swim and dive team traveled to Delaware, Ohio to take on the Battling Bishops of Ohio Wesleyan University (OWU). They swept the Battling Bishops in all 13 events, leading them to a 185-to-27 victory over their conference foe in their last tune-up before the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) championships begin next week in Granville, OH.
“A lot of people swam events who don’t typically swim, which was good practice for getting up and racing no matter the events or circumstances,” Brooks McCoy ’19 said. “Overall, we were very competitive and threw down some fast times.”
Kenyon diver Ryder Sammons ’19 had a record-breaking night, with a score of 343.10 in the 3-meter competition. This broke the Kenyon record of 335.60 held by John Butcher ’95, which had stood since the ’91-’92 season. The record was tied with two other Butcher records for the second-oldest Kenyon swimming and diving record, only surpassed by Dennis Mulvihill’s ’88 1988 200-yard freestyle record of 1:36.63. Sammons also claimed another first-place finish in the 1-meter competition with a score of 274.05 points.
“I only got in two practices that week prior to going to OWU on Friday, so I was not expecting anything amazing. However, the atmosphere of the pool was electric,” Sammons said. “Having your team cheer you on really makes a huge difference, and I definitely credit the excitement that our team brings to the pool deck to being able to break Butcher’s record.”
Sammons was not the only member of the swim and dive team to accumulate two first-place finishes; fellow senior Weston Carpenter ’19 won the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 21.31 and the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 47.26. Carpenter’s strong performance in the pool secured him the NCAC Men’s Swimming and Diving Athlete of the Week award.
In the relays, the Lords’ won the 200-yard medley in a time of 1:34.29, as well as the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:24.16. Other notable champions for the Lords included Marcus Hong ’21 in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 50.97, Joe Black ’22 in the 100-yard breaststroke in 59.60 and Mick Bartholomew ’20 in the 500-yard medley with a time of 4:40.95.
“For NCACs, our goal is maximum speed and competitiveness. Some people have different focuses, but overall we’re dialed in on being the very best team we can be right now,” McCoy said. “Hopefully we leave the meet with plenty more fast times, some additional experience in a championship meet scenario and an NCAC championship trophy.”
The Lords’ focus now shifts to the NCAC championships. Denison University is the reigning champion, but the Lords have been runner-ups in the past 10 consecutive NCAC championship meets.
On Feb. 13, the Lords will travel to Granville, Ohio for the four-day NCAC Championship swim meet in an effort to hoist the trophy.