The Keene State College men’s and women’s swim teams defeated Bentley University in a dual meet on Jan. 21.
This marked the Falcons’ first loss in 18 dual meets. The KSC men’s and women’s teams now have just one loss on the season, posting (4-1) and (6-1) records respectively.
Both clubs posted impressive stats, as the men won all 14 events and set three meet records while the ladies won 13/14 races on their way to setting five meet records.
Making an immediate impact in his first season, freshman Randy Dunton did his part to help the Owls by finishing first in the 100-yard and 200-yard backstroke as well as the 200 yard individual medley.
Classmate Gib Stevens collected two first place finishes in the 500 yard and 1,000 yard freestyle swims.
Sophomore Drew Ledwith, who won three races for the Owls, shed some light on the importance of victories in dual meets.
“Dual meets give us confidence going into the bigger meets,” Ledwith said. “So wins like these help the team out down the road when we get to our end of the season taper meets. Our team is looking good and we are all excited to swim fast at the end of the season.”
Ledwith set a meet record with his performance in the 200-yard flystroke (1:57.55).
The KSC women had similar success, with four different members winning two races each.
“Bentley is our biggest rival and after being beat by them twice last year we really wanted to win this time. Our coach scored out the meet beforehand so we knew it was going to be close and everyone swam better than expected,” senior Maureen O’Leary said. “We swim against them again at our big conference meet at the end of February. I know they want to win it just as bad as we do so we have all been working really hard in practice and will continue to the next couple of weeks.”
O’Leary, who tallied wins in the 100-yard and 200-yard flystroke, as well as the 200-yard medley relay with teammates Jillian Whitaker, Diana Pimer, and Taylor DaSilva.
Whitaker said the win boosted team moral and has allowed the team to feel more confident in its ability to swim fast this late in the season and at the championship meet down the road.
“It was really exciting beating Bentley,” Whitaker said. “That meet is always a tough one for us but we enjoy the challenge. It’s a lot of fun racing a team that is equal competition and makes winning more rewarding.”
Freshman Julie Trodden took home two first-place finishes along with classmates Pimer and DaSilva.
Pimer’s efforts did not go unnoticed and was recognized by the LEC for Rookie Swimmer of the Week after setting two meet records.
Fortunately the vast amount of individual success translates well collectively for the team as they have captured conference championships 9 out of the last 12 years.
The Owls hope to gain momentum from this win heading into the later months of the season.
Both men’s and women’s teams have three seniors swimming in their final season for the Owls.
Meghan Wilson, Whitaker, O’Leary, Chris Avery, Ian Watters, and Derek Peabody are all seniors, and look to add to their legacies after four years in the water at Spaulding Gymnasium.
Earning another championship and going out on top would certainly culminate their prolific careers and add to the list of contributions they have made to the program.
Chelsea Rennie can be contacted at email@example.com