A great deal of good news starts trickling in these days.
First. When the NESCAC meet wrapped up, we had our highest total of Women ALL-NESCAC swimmers ever. Elle Sergi "surged" to a 3rd place finish in the 50 freestyle (by .01!) with a lifetime best of 24.04 and claimed an individual All-NESCAC award. Elle also led off the 200 free relay which placed 3rd with Whitney Paine, Emilie Geissinger, and a tremendous anchor leg by Caroline Depew (23.6). That was the first All-Conference Relay since 1994!
Second. The 200 medley relay team of Paine (27.2), Catherine Sparks (29.8), Geissinger (25.8), and Sergi (23.1) also had a stellar 200 Medley performance... not only did they carve 1.5 seconds off the school record, but they recorded a NCAA B-Cut and when the final entry list for nationals came out, they were the 28th fastest relay in the country! Very cool.
Yesterday the Men's All-NESCAC awards were announced, and Matt Gagne' continued to rack up some serious press with his award for the 50 fly (22.6... New School record). His 100 Fly (49.48) also placed him 25th in the country according to the NCAA meet entry list. The All-NESCAC award is not an award to take lightly. You have to really earn it in this conference with Williams and Amherst both having the depth to fight for top 5 in the country. (They hand out 3 per event and when all was said and done the top 3 teams in the conference accounted for 90% of the awards. Leaving about 13 awards for the other 9 teams to distribute among themselves). Yes - this conference has to do some serious work in leveling the playing field. (That will be goal number one after celebrating this year's accomplishments!)
Next, Matthew Johns was awarded this week's Bobcat of the Week for his breakthrough meet. What a sweet a senior year finale! Matt broke (or helped break) 4 school records in his final meet. He crashed through barriers to do it too. 52.2 was the school record in the 100 back. He went from a LTB of 53.4 to 51.8! School record in the 50 back was 24.2... he went from LTB 24.7 to 23.9! He was also the lead off leg - and clearly set the tone - for the two medley relay records that were obliterated. In fact, the 200 Medley Relay of Johns, Andrew Briggs (26.0), Venka Duvvuri (22.2), and Nick Karlson (20.9) popped a NCAA B-Cut time and was 40th in the country when all was said and done.
Finally, the College Swim Coaches Association named it's Academic All-American teams last week. Your Bates Bobcats did themselves proud with both the men and women garnering the award for the 11 straight semester I have been here. The women came in with a 3.23 team GPA, and the men popped the 16th best GPA in the nation with a 3.30! Remember, there are over 220 Division III swimming programs out there!