Women's Swimming Team Downed by Regis CollegeBy Dan Wang
Last Wednesday, the women's swimming and diving team dropped a 133-158 decision to Regis College at Alumni Pool, in its first home meet of the season. The loss was the team's second overall, making its record 0-2.
The MIT swimmers, despite some strong performances, suffered from a lack of representatives in many events. As a result, they fell behind in team points from the outset of the meet, and never recovered.
Clara Yang '95 recorded the first win for the Engineers, in the 200-yard butterfly, in a time of 2 minutes, 34.94 seconds. Lexie Farel '96, came close behind, in 2:36.66, to take second place. In the 50-yard freestyle, Miranda Fan '95 took first in 28.20 seconds.
Hillary Price '97 added first-place points to the team score, with a time of 5:48.84 in the 500-yard freestyle. In the preceding event, the 100-yard butterfly, Elaine Heal '95 took first, finishing the race in 1:10.27. In some of the races, MIT swimmers did not necessarily win, but the Regis coach decided not to count the result of the Regis winner towards the team score.
There were many other events during which MIT swimmers created some excitement. In the second event of the evening, the 1000-yard freestyle, a true test of endurance and nerves, Holly Goo '95 swam neck-and-neck with her competitor from Regis in adjacent lanes for most of the race.
Both swimmers exchanged leads many times, and with less than ten lengths of the pool left to go, Goo took a lead of about one body length, and seemed ready to pull away. But her opponent caught up, reclaimed the lead, and never lost it.
Goo finished a little less than two seconds behind the winner. However, she made up for the close loss by capturing the last individual event of the evening, the 200-yard individual medley.
In the final event of the evening, Goo joined Price, Fan, and Yang in the 200-yard freestyle relay. Price and Fan kept the race close, allowing Yang to take a lead during her leg.
Regis swimmers in the next lane closed in and took the lead shortly after the final exchange. The anchor for the Regis team outlasted Goo in the finishing sprint. The Engineers ended up with a time of 1:49.89, 1.65 seconds behind the winner, but still well ahead of the rest of the field. The second MIT team, made up of Diana Bancila '95, Christine Harada '94, Audrey Fan '97, and Farel, took third place, with a time of 1:55.80.
In the diving portion of the meet, Debbie Gustafson '96, and Elaine Haberer '97 finished 1-2 in both the required dives and optional dives off the 1-meter springboard.
In both events, Gustafson consistently chose more difficult dives than the rest of her competition, and made them successfully most of the time. She closed out the first half of the two events with an inward dive in the pike position. Although it was neither the most difficult that she had chosen, nor the most difficult of all the dives made in that round, she earned the highest combined score from the judges for any single dive. In the required dives event, Gustafson scored 142.95 points, well ahead of the second place Haberer, who had 123.3 points.
In the second event, consisting of optional dives, Gustafson opened with a forward dive, with two somersaults in the pike position. The dive had a degree of difficulty of 2.3, which was 0.6 higher than any of the other opening dives, and she earned the highest scores from the judges in that round.
All of Gustafson's dives in this event had a degree of difficulty above 2.0. She executed all of them with enough success to finish with a commanding margin of victory. Haberer's 116.70 was the closest to the 159.45 points that Gustafson earned.
Coach John Benedick gave credit to the other team for being stronger, but still had many positive things to say about his own swimmers. "They really put in an honest effort. They are an enthusiastic group with a lot of potential," he said.