Men and women’s swimming both performed impressively this weekend, with the women’s team winning 161-44 against Salisbury and the men’s team winning against Salisbury 137.5-67.5. This came after a loss to Johns Hopkins the day before, but this loss was expected.
Coach Andre Barbins said of Johns Hopkins before the meet, “It is a top 5 team in the country, so hopefully we’ll do our best.” Junior swimmer Claire Huckenpoehler said, “The meet against Hopkins is always interesting. We go into the meet knowing we are going to lose. But it’s an opportunity for us to race against some of the fastest swimmers in the country. I think the opportunity to race against Hopkins helps us in the long run.”
The team certainly proved themselves the next day against Salisbury. They not only won, members of both teams broke Salisbury Pool records. Senior Kelly Heyde scored the pool record for the 200-meter butterfly, while senior Cameron Hedquist scored the pool record for the 400-meter freestyle. Huckenpoehler described this as one of the more exciting parts of the meet and said, “Cameron breaking the 400-freestyle pool record was fun to watch because he doesn’t usually swim distance events. And he didn’t just break the record, he shattered it.”
Reflecting on the season, Barbins said, “There are a few things we’ve done different training wise, but mostly training has been the same. So far its been a really successful season.” Even though the team lost its conference meet against Mary Washington on Jan. 10, the team did have a successful trip over the winter break to Florida. The team goes to Florida every year to compete in the Delray Beach Ocean Mile Swim. Barbins explained his pride in the team, saying, “Kelly Heyde was the top female for the entire race, and junior Thor Peterson and first-year Jackson Holden scored tenth and eleventh in men’s.” Sophomore Kaleigh O’Neill enjoyed the team-bonding aspect of the trip, saying, “As a newcomer to the team this year I can say that I’ve never felt more welcome with a group of people. I’ve loved swimming this year. We went to Florida for a training trip and although it was so much work, it was a blast with my teammates. This season is going really well, but I know we are all really excited for [championships].”
When talking about goals in regards to future meets, Barbins said, “We just try to work hard all season and individually get best times so that we can do our best in the conference.” Huckenpoehler echoed this idea, saying, “Everyone just hopes to swim best times, and the women’s team specifically wants to beat Mary Washington this year.”
The teams will swim in an away meet against Frostburg on Jan. 26 at 1 p.m. Huckenpoehler described the meet against Frostburg as different from others, saying, “Frostburg is different because they have such a small team, so not everyone goes. This is going to be the first year the whole team isn’t going.” When talking about the upcoming Capital Athletic Conference Championships Huckenpoehler said, “It’s the last meet of the season, so it’s our last chance to get up and race.” Barbins said, “We have an exciting, good group of kids. We’re looking forward to a good finish.”