Swimming comes to climactic end at Centennials
By biconews On 29 Feb, 2000 At 05:00 AM | Categorized As Archives | With 0 Comments

By Tracey Posluszny

The Centennial Conference Championships, held at Franklin and Marshall Feb. 18-20, was the culmination of an exciting and rewarding season for 10 Bryn Mawr swimmers. The swimmers earned 28 personal bests, increasing the total of personal bests after winter training to an outstanding 91.

Due to predicted inclement weather conditions, the group of BMC swimmers was forced to leave late Thursday evening rather than Friday morning. What had the potential of disrupting spirits did just the opposite, which was evident throughout the swimmers’ performance in the pool.

Senior Katie Olsen kicked off the meet with a great start Friday morning when she dove into the water for her 500 yard freestyle. Seeded third in her heat of three, this aggressive swimmer took control and led the heat for the entire duration of the race. Olsen finished first in her heat with a time of 5:59.71, dropping roughly 20 seconds off a previous personal best time.

Bryn Mawr loaded up the lanes in the 50 freestyle. While each swimmer climbed out of the pool with a season best time, the biggest surprise came from breaststroker Felicia Munion who matched senior sprinter Sennah Loftus’ time exactly: a quick 27.76.

The 200 freestyle relay team of Tracey Posluszny ’02, Sennah Loftus ’00, Julia Switzer ’03 and Erin Dwight ’02 finished seventh overall that night at finals, while the 400 medley relay (Olsen, Munion, Iida, Loftus) closed out the night with an eighth place finish.

After getting over first-day jitters, BMC swimmers entered the pool area Saturday ready and raring to go. Excitement spread through the locker room out onto the pool area. The first race to include Bryn Mawr swimmers was the 100 yard fly. Senior Captain Masumi Iida swam a personal best and advanced to the consolation finals, finishing eleventh overall. Beth Varadian ’00, seeded nineteenth, fought hard to obtain sixteenth place in the morning to go to consoles

that night. She continued to persevere that night, moving up from sixteenth to fifteenth and dropping under a second from her morning swim. Both these swims were personal bests for

Varadian.

The 200 yard freestyle was not a ticket to the finals for any Bryn Mawr swimmer, but nonetheless it provided an arena for some great swims. Colleen Owens, Switzer, Posluszny and

Loftus were all in the same heat. While swimming against one’s own teammates can sometimes lessen the pressure, it by no means defeats the competitive nature of the race. Switzer captured first place and Posluszny dropped three seconds from a previous personal best.

Other personal bests that day came from Owens in the 100 yard breaststroke (1:21.71), Rebecca Aspden ’02 in the 100 yard backstroke (1:11.15), and Olsen in the 100 yard backstroke (1:08.25). Meanwhile, both Dwight and Owens just missed making finals: Dwight finished seventeenth in the 100 yard backstroke while Olsen followed with eighteenth place.

Relay teams that night continued swimming well. Both the 200 yard medley relay (Dwight, Munion, Iida, Loftus) and the 800 yard freestyle relay (Posluszny, Owens, Switzer, Iida) set season best records for the team. The 800 relay team also took seventh place.

Spirits were still high on Sunday: in fact, the excitement was heightened, because for the seniors it would be the final swims of their competitive careers, and for the underclassmen it would be their last opportunity to swim with their graduating teammates. With this in mind, the 10 swimmers were fueled for success. Both backstrokers Olsen and Aspden achieved personal bests in the 200 yard freestyle. Olsen’s time of 2:26.95 allowed her to advance to consolation finals where she finished fourteenth overall. All three sprinters in the 100 yard freestyle (Dwight, Posluszny, and Loftus) posted season bests, as did Munion in the 200 yard breaststroke. She also finished sixteenth in finals that night. Iida’s swim in the 200 yard butterfly gave a her a chance to extend her time in the pool; she finished eleventh overall. Varadian finished seventeenth in that race.

Also on Sunday was the grueling 1650 yard freestyle (one mile), Iida, Switzer, and Owens [sic] rookies to this event, dove in the water together and emerged strong. Iida finished first in the heat and snuck into sixteenth overall with a time of 20:10.97. Switzer, not far behind, finished 20:17.58 for seventeenth place. Owens put forth a good swim as well (21:23.19).

The 400 yard freestyle relay (Dwight, Switier, Iida, Loftus) concluded the competition with a yet [sic] another season best.

While Bryn Mawr racked up season bests, the numbers were not as high in points. They finished eighth with a score of 133, just behind Western Maryland’s 157. The winner of the meet was Gettysburg; Swarthmore placed second and Franklin & Marshall took third.

However, Conferences cannot be looked at as anything but a success and a reflection on the entire season.

“Conference was great. Everyone gave their 110 percent at the meet, and we all had a lot of fun,” said Captain Masumi Iida. Co-captain Felicia Munion shared similar sentiments: “everyone there was having fun [swimming at Conferences].”

This ability to have fun and truly enjoy what they were doing carried the BMC swim team through an amazing season.

“One thing I learned from swimming for Bryn Mawr is that … there is something more important than winning … that [aspect] is to enjoy every minute of swimming. The joy of swimming comes from being with the people who love and care about the sports as much as you do, and I certainly enjoyed swimming with this team.” concluded Iida.

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