For most college students, the end of the school week is reason enough to go out and celebrate. Last Friday and Saturday, however, the Raider swim teams had even more reason to let loose. After two decisive victories over Hamilton College and a women’s triumph over Binghamton, the swimmers were all smiles over the weekend.The men’s squad championed over upstate New York rival Hamilton by a score of 139-103 on Friday night, while the women finished even stronger with an overwhelming 160-82 finish. “The whole team responded well to the challenge put forth by two tough teams this weekend,” senior captain Mike Gentithes said. “I think everyone, underclassmen included, was inspired to end the careers of the seniors on a good note.”Colgate started off the night with a women’s 400-yard medley relay team, a powerful squad consisting of three first-years and one senior. The foursome went on to win the event with a time of 4:05.41. The Raiders then took second and third place in the men’s 400-yard medley relay and swept the 1,000-yard freestyle events, with junior Amy Cole touching in first on the women’s side and senior Rich Derrick taking top honors for the men.Other stars included Gentithes and sophomore Keriann Fitzsimmons, who both swept the 200-yard freestyle in their respective events. The underclassmen continued the winning streak, as first-year Allie Lenci took home first place in the 50-yard freestyle and sophomore Zach Grobengieser won the men’s 50-yard event. With seemingly unstoppable momentum, the Raiders also won all of the 200-yard individual medley events. The divers in particular had an astonishing meet. Junior Emily McAuliff and senior Jen Busby swept the women’s events, while senior Lane Ellis took second in the men’s one-meter diving event. McAuliff and Busby both broke their own all-time varsity and pool records that night. McAuliff bested her six dives off the one-meter board by 1.5 points, increasing her total from 280.50 to 282, while Busby topped her six dives on the three-meter board by 26.32 points, increasing from 281.48 to 307.80. Both scores represented lifetime bests.
As if breaking records wasn’t enough, sophomore Gretchen Swarr joined McAuliff, Ellis and Busby in qualifying for the National Zones on the one-meter board. “[It was] a huge and exciting accomplishment for the whole team,” Busby said.The list of wins for the rest of the meet didn’t end there, however. Senior Caroline Curtis took home top honors in the 100-yard freestyle and Grobengieser won his second event of the day in the same event. Fitzsimmons triumphed for the second time in the 500-yard freestyle, while Derrick also won his second event of the day in the same event. Junior Marc Faulkner touched first in the 200-yard breaststroke, while the Raiders ended their momentous day with a final victory in the women’s 200-yard freestyle relay.”There were too many to even name,” Gentithes said, in reference to the teams’ huge amounts of victories. The team did not let up the next day against Binghamton, as the women’s squad won 14 events and the men’s team won five.As captain, Gentithes was more than proud of his team’s accomplishments over the weekend. “With the number of season-best and personal-best times we came up with this weekend, the team is really positive that we can come away from [the Patriot League Championships] very happy with our performances,” he commented.With their second-to-last meet on February 5 at Lafayette, the Colgate swimmers and divers are nearing the all-important PLCs. Rather than apprehension or the usual pre-championship anxiety, however, there seems to be nothing but confidence for this spirited squad of Raiders.