Gate Swimming and Diving Season Heats Up at Lineberry

It would be hard for most Colgate students to imagine living in a college town smaller than Hamilton, New York, but the students of Kenyon College currently reside in Gambier, Ohio, which has almost 2,000 less people than the village we call home. The men’s and women’s swimming teams traveled to this central Ohio town at the end of November to participate in the Nike Invitational. Although the men finished the first day of the two-day invitational with an outside chance to take third-place in the seven-team tournament, the squad encountered some trouble down the stretch and finished in last-place behind a sextet of tough teams including first-place Penn. However, the first-year Healy twins (Trevor and Devon) continue to write their names into the Colgate record books. Trevor now has the fourth fastest 400 IM time (4:07.39) in school history after the Nike Invitational, and Devon (4:07.83) is in fifth.

Meanwhile, in the women’s meets, another sensational Colgate first-year continued to make a name for herself. Caren Guyett’s time of 2:02.36 in the 200 fly dashed the school and Patriot League record. She finished in second-place, helping lead the team to a solid bronze finish behind the University of Kansas and Kenyon College. Guyett also won the 500 freestyle with a time of 4:55.23, and she is now tops on the Colgate women’s swimming all-time leaderboard in four races.

There were many great performances on these two days for the women. Junior Erin McGraw won the 100 backstroke and finished third in the 200 fly. Classmate Beverly Walker finished right behind her in the latter race and second in the 200 backstroke. Sophomore Emily Murphy attained a second place finish in the 100 breaststroke. Meanwhile, first-year Erin McGraw won the 100 fly and set new Colgate and Kenyon College pool records in the process. Sophomore Kate Murphy took bronze in that event. The women also had great success in the medley races, finishing second in the 200 and 400 medleys.

While most Colgate students were away enjoying their winter break free from any obligations, the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams were hard at work preparing for the second half of their seasons. On New Year’s Day, both teams traveled to San Juan, Puerto Rico, where they trained hard in preparation for their upcoming meets with Patriot League opponents and rivals such as Cornell.

“The purpose of the trip was mainly for physical training,” Head Coach Stephen Jungbluth said. “We had a lot of good training without any distractions.”

He also mentioned the benefits of training in a warm weather climate such as Puerto Rico as opposed to the harsh climate that the swimmers currently face in Hamilton.

“As any swimmer will tell you, it’s definitely an advantage not having to walk through the cold to get to the pool,” Jungbluth stated.

Both teams returned from their training in San Juan in time for dual meets against Cornell and Patriot League foe Bucknell. The men squared off against Bucknell on Saturday, January 12th and were defeated by the Bison by the final score of 192-96. Despite the loss, the Colgate squad was boosted by a strong performance from senior Zach Whitman, who placed first in both the 100 and 200-yard butterfly. Devon Healy scored a first-place finish with a time of 4:53.28 in the 500-yard freestyle. The Raiders also managed a first-place finish in the 200-yard freestyle relay and a third-place finish in the 200-yard medley relay as well. The loss dropped Colgate’s record in Patriot League play to 0-2 for the year.

Against Bucknell, the women were able to come away with a win by the score of 174-124. The Raiders were led by strong showings from McGraw Murphy. McGraw placed first in both the 100 fly and the 100-yard freestyle, while Murphy won the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:07.86. The Raiders were also able to score first-place in the 200-yard medley relay with a final time of 1:49.71. The win puts Colgate’s Patriot League record at 2-1.

The men faced off against Cornell at the Lineberry Natatorium last Saturday and fell by the score of 156-123. The Raiders were led by junior George Bennitt, who won the 50-yard freestyle with the time of 22.04 seconds, and Whitman, who placed first in the 100 butterfly with a time of 51.70 seconds. Other notable finishes for Colgate included Trevor Healy’s second-place result in the 200-yard backstroke and first-year Tucker Gniewek’s silver finish in the 100-yard backstroke. Colgate is now 0-7, and afterwards, Jungbluth described the challenges that his team faced in their losses to Cornell and Bucknell.

“We went up against two stronger teams,” Jungbluth stated. “We have 16 guys on the roster as opposed to Cornell and Bucknell, who have 20 to 24 swimmers on their rosters. It’s like playing man-down hockey.”

However, despite the team’s record this season, Jungbluth was still able to find the positives in their performance.

“We competed really well. We progressed very well,” he said of his team’s performance over the break. The team will see action again when they take on Binghamton on Saturday.

The women also earned a victory against Cornell, as they defeated the Big Red soundly by the score of 181-117. The Raiders were able to score first-place finishes in the 200-yard medley relay, the 400-freestyle relay and the 100-yard breaststroke among other victories en route to one of their most impressive team wins of the season. Junior Lisa Marchi was able to swim her way to victory in the 500-yard freestyle with a final time of 5:20.50, and McGraw was able to grab a wins in both the 100-yard butterfly and the 200-yard IM. Sophomore Alaina Sullivan also won her first individual race of her career in the 200-yard breaststroke with the time of 2:27.95. The win over Cornell put the women’s team’s overall record at 5-3 for the year, and Jungbluth was very pleased by their performance.

“We accomplished what we wanted to do,” Jungbluth said. “We wanted to prepare for our championship meet, and we did that.”

The women will travel alongside the men to Binghamton for their next meet.