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Swimmers, Divers Set Personal Best

By Christine J. Harada
Team Member

This past weekend, the women's swimming and diving team competed in the Division III New England Championships at Bowdoin College. The 12 athletes representing MIT performed exceptionally well.

In the 200-yard freestyle relay, the team of Hilary Price '97, Holly Goo '95, Miranda Fan '95, and Christine Harada '94 placed 11th overall with a time of 1 minute and 47.10 seconds.

"I got really psyched up for the relay, and it made me do a great time," said Price, whose 50-yard split was 25.50.

Many team members ended the season with personal records.

Clara Yang '95 swam the 500-yard freestyle event in a personal best time of 5:49.63. An elated Elaine Heal '95 finished 34th out of a field of 86 in the 100-yard butterfly with a personal best time of 1:06.85. "I've been waiting to do that time for a while," exclaimed Heal.

Goo also swam exceptionally well, placing 15th in the 200-yard individual medley and 14th in the 400 individual medley with a personal record of 4:54.15.

Pauline Liauw '94 finished her collegiate swimming career with a personal record of 1:12.77 in the 100-yard backstroke.

Harada also rounded up her swimming career with a personal best in the 50-yard backstroke, placing 27th with a time of 31.13.

The 800 freestyle relay team of Goo, Price, Yang, and Lexie Farel '96 finished with a time of 8:35.92. "Tapering for these last two weeks made a difference," said Farel. "I went a lot faster."

The format of the competition was tiring and stressful because the evening championship heats followed the morning preliminary trial heats.

Two divers accompanied the swimmers to the championships. Debbie Gustafson '95 wowed her teammates with clean, sharp dives, and placed 10th in the 1-meter, and 5th in the 3-meter springboard competition.

Elaine Haberer '97 exemplified grace under pressure in her first New England Championships, placing 22nd in the 1-meter diving competition. "I'm really looking forward to next year's championships," said Haberer.

Diving Coach Rich DeCristofaro said that he was "pleased with both of our divers."

In order to earn a varsity letter in swimming and diving, one must place in the top 24 at the New England Championships individually or within the top 16 in a relay. This year several swimmers attained this award, including Goo, Price, Yang, Harada, Farel, and Miranda Fan. Both divers earned their letters as well.

After the championships, Coaches John Benedick and Maureen Travers treated the team to a special all-you-can-eat feast at McDonald's. "After all the pasta that we've been eating for months, this stuff tastes awesome!" raved Audrey Fan '97.