Tufts bests Wheaton College on Seniors Day

Tufts first-year Colleen Doolan swims butterfly for the Swimming & Diving team as it faces off against Wheaton College on Saturday, Jan. 23. Julia Press / The Tufts Daily

On Saturday, Tufts women’s swimming and diving welcomed Wheaton College to Hamilton Pool for its only home meet of the season. The meet also served as Tufts’ Seniors Day, honoring the accomplishments of nine members of the Class of 2016. Seniors Shivani Bigler, Maddie Golison, Randi Katz, Moira Lavelle, Molly Levene, Sarah Mahoney, Claire Mullany, Katharine Pong and Samantha Swinton were recognized during the meet.

The team sent its seniors out on a high note, dominating the Wheaton College Lyons by winning 19 of 20 events en route to a 194-149 win. Mahoney turned in one of the team’s best performances, as she was able to garner three wins, two individual and one as part of a relay team.

Mahoney’s 2:00.81 time was good for first place in the 200 freestyle and a 5:27.01 time allowed her to finish first in the 500 freestyle. Additionally, the 200 freestyle relay team was comprised of Mahoney, sophomore Jess Lee, first-year Alexandra Good and junior Sophia Lin. That team posted a 1:43.15 time, which gave Mahoney another win.

“We had a fantastic meet yesterday. Due to the fact that our team has limited home meets, we try to raise the energy levels, and that absolutely showed in everyone’s performance,” said Mahoney. “Personally, I had really strong swims for one of the first meets of the semester and I was definitely excited given that it was my final race in Hamilton Pool. It was pretty bittersweet to see my classmates in their last races ever at Tufts.”

First-year Colleen Doolan continued a strong rookie season with another impressive day on Saturday as she won the 200 butterfly, the 100 freestyle, the 100 butterfly and was part of a first-place 200 medley relay team. Doolan’s three solo victories led the team. Other great first-year outings include Jen Lucius winning the the 1,000 meters and Caroline McCormick winning the 100 backstroke, the 50 backstroke and being part of the winning 200 medley relay team.

Junior Amanda Gottschalk also turned in a solid performance with a 2:26.78 time in the 200 breaststroke and a 4:42.67 time in the 400 individual medley, giving her a pair of wins.

“I felt like both myself and the team swam great. We have swimmers in all different places: some coming off a difficult week training double sessions and another group who is halfway through their taper for the Middlebury Invite next weekend,” Gottschalk said. “After completing our training trip in Puerto Rico, we have gotten through much of the difficult aerobic training of the season.”

The team’s rigorous training schedule has prepared it for the upcoming championship season.

“We are very excited looking forward. At this point in the year we are extremely exhausted as we have just finished a training trip, which included four to five hours of training a day,” Mahoney said.

“Overall, I think all of the women are proud of our performances this season and looking forward to racing at our championship meets,” Gottschalk said.

Tufts will send its non-NESCAC competitors to the Middlebury College Invitational on Jan. 29 and 30 as its 24-woman NESCAC roster prepares to compete in next month’s conference championship meet.

“The women’s team is stronger than ever, and we definitely have some fire in our bellies for NESCACs,” Mahoney said. “Beating Connecticut College at our dual meet and being edged out by Middlebury by only two points was a huge accomplishment for us. We rival them in depth and speed and will no doubt be ready come NESCAC weekend. I haven’t seen this strong of a [first-year] class in years and that’s just the beginning. Our juniors, sophomores and seniors are performing better than ever and definitely are coming back this year with some fight.”

“Before championship season, we will be looking to fine-tune the technical aspects of our races such as our starts, turns and relay exchanges,” Gottschalk said when asked what aspects the team would seek to improve.

Overall, the Jumbos will try to carry over their performances from Saturday into the final leg of the season. A commanding victory over Wheaton on Seniors Day sets the team up for its final two months of competition.


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