After almost two months without dual meet competition, the Georgetown swimming and diving team took on two hometown rivals — the American University Eagles and the George Washington Colonials — Jan. 15 and Jan. 16. These competitions came shortly after the team’s training trip to Ponce, Puerto Rico over winter break.
“We really don’t ever get an opportunity to be all together at one time throughout the year because of our class schedules and facility limitations,” said Head Coach Jamie Holder of the trip. “It was great to get everybody all together and get some good training in — it sets us up well for the rest of the season.”
Senior Lauren Ward said she also enjoyed the team’s trip to Puerto Rico, citing the training opportunities as a key benefit of the trip.
“I thought it was great,” Ward said. “We got in a lot of really good training. We were able to practice twice a day. I thought it was extremely beneficial in setting us up for the next half of the season.”
This proved true Friday evening with the team’s victory over American. The women’s and men’s teams defeated the Eagles 133-105 and 158-71, respectively. The Hoyas got off to a strong start, opening the meet with four consecutive first-place finishes, including the women’s and men’s 200-yard medley relays.
Additionally, in the 1000-yard freestyle relay, sophomore Christine Ryan topped the women’s side with a time of 10:48.41 and sophomore Peter Kalibat came in first on the men’s side with a time of 9:58.18.
Other highlights include sophomore Molly Fitzpatrick’s win in the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 2:12.69, freshman Carrie Bonfield’s first-place finish of 5:08.13 in the women’s 500-yard freestyle and sophomore Samuel Delises’ two victories in the men’s 200-yard individual relay with a time of 1:59.97 and in the 500-yard freestyle relay with a time of 4:54.07. Both the men’s team and women’s team also won the 50-yard and 100-yard freestyle races and the 100-yard butterfly race.
On the diving side, junior Jared Cooper-Vespa triumphed in the one-meter and three-meter competitions, while junior Sarah Jacklitsch won the one-meter competition for the women.
The next day, against the George Washington Colonials, the women kept up their winning streak while the men faltered. The Hoyas’ 200-yard medley quartet of junior Katie Duncalf, sophomore Haley Owens, senior Erica Fabbri and sophomore Bailey Page won with a time of 1:47.80. Page also came in first in the 200-yard freestyle, finishing with a time of 1:54.59 and the 100-yard freestyle in 53.59. Fabbri had two additional wins as well. She placed first in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 24.39 and won the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 57.65.
For the second day in a row, Fitzpatrick conquered the 200-yard breaststroke in 2:26.77. Her strong performances over the weekend earned her the title of Big East Swimming & Diving Athlete of the Week. The meets against George Washington and American helped to get the team back into its groove for the second half of their season.
Georgetown will continue to prepare for the Big East Swimming and Diving Championships, which will take place from Feb. 24 to Feb. 27 at the Nassau County Aquatic Center in East Meadow, N.Y. The team used its trip to Puerto Rico as an opportunity to train heavily as it continues to move toward the conference meet.
“Puerto Rico was definitely the hardest training we’ve had this year just based on number of practices and condensed training,” Ward said. “We trained through the American and GW meets last weekend and are still training hard through this week. We aren’t really resting much at all. Then, gearing up for the Big East, we’ll start resting up a few weeks out.”
Holder said he is excited about the looming Big East championships, as the meet will give Georgetown an opportunity to finish its season strong in an important event.
“We have a few more weeks of solid training left, then we start to rest and focus more on individual tapes,” Holder said. “We are getting ready to perform at our very best. The team is excited to get to that point and so am I — it’s what we work for all year.”
As Georgetown enters its final weeks of training, the team is looking toward the Big East meet as the culmination of a season’s worth of hard work.
“I think everyone is starting to realize that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. This is truly the hard part,” Ward said.
Due to poor weather conditions, Georgetown’s scheduled meet against Drexel for Saturday was moved to Thursday afternoon. The men’s team fell to Drexel, but the women’s team won. A story with the full results of the meet will be posted online at thehoya.com.
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