Bates Swimming and Diving took a 3 plus hour trip down to Norton, MA to take on the Wheaton Lyons and Tufts Jumbos in a tri-meet last weekend. Long trip? Yeah, but definitely worth it. I could tell that none of the swims were going to be easy, and that the team was going to have to fight for every time they posted. That's not unusual as taper draws near... and to be completely honest, it was nice to see the team have to fight for their times. My pep talk quickly became, "If it's going to hurt, you mine as well be going fast." (Now, that right there is great coaching)
So here are some highlights... Katelyn Drake kicked off a great meet by jumping in and giving our medley relay a lead. She then went on to win the 100 and 200 back with her best times of the year - not exactly her best swims, but that's what makes it such good news. Both her times are top 8 in the NESCAC right now, and it looks like she may be giving the National B-Cuts a run for their money. Sarah Reingold brought her A game too. She also posted best times of the year in the 100 and 200 back - and again in the 400 IM. Actually it was a lifetime best in the 200 back (by over a second!), and her 400 IM was over 11 seconds faster than last year's best. That is impressive. Alison Lizars continued her streak of going a few lifetime bests in each meet(!), Charlotte Green showed us her 100 freestyle can be executed correctly (a nice .3 drop off her best 100 time of the year), and Annie Barton popped a very impressive 400 IM, then got out and anchored our fastest 400 free relay of the year!
Many of the men tackled new events and mixed things up a bit. Dan Perry continued to shine on both boards, and Chris Berry posted some impressive swims (dropping over 30 seconds off his best 500 free!). Byron Cooper needs a shout out as he was the only guy to swim two in-season best times (dropping 5 seconds off his 200 free and second and a half off his 100 free!).
I know it's hard to see how good we are swimming - especially with the scores that are coming up, but trust me, the improvements each athlete is making - coupled with their never give up attitude - is very impressive. I couldn't be happier with where we are at, and where we are heading.
(pictured above is Katelyn Drake underwater and below Byron Cooper... team stud)