Tufts continued its positive start to the season last weekend with a third place finish at the MIT Invitational. The Jumbos recorded 762 points and built a comfortable 162-point lead over fourth-place Wheaton College. New York University (NYU) garnered first place at the meet with 1664 points while the hosts, MIT, finished as runner-ups with 1572 points.
First-year Grace Goetcheus set a school record during the preliminaries of the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 2:08.43 and then broke her own record by four tenths of a second in the event’s final. Goetcheus’ time of 2:08.03 in the final earned her third place in the event and 20 points for her team. In her other events, Goetcheus placed fifth in the 200-yard individual medley (2:10.59) and eighth in the 100-yard backstroke (59.09). In total, she gained an impressive 53 points for her team in her individual events. Goetcheus attributed her good results to the support she received from her teammates and coaches.
“I think my successes in the pool really came down to all the support I received from the whole team,” Goetcheus told the Daily in an email. “I normally get super nervous before my races, especially at big invite meets like MIT, but everyone was constantly wishing me good luck and helping to pump me up.”
Goetcheus also emphasized the important role practices have played not only in her performances in the pool but also in transitioning into her first year at Tufts.
“My old teams never had very energetic practices, but at Tufts everyone is cheering and pushing each other on at every practice. It’s motivated me to work harder than I ever have before and to always give everything I have for the team,” Goetcheus said. “The swim team immediately welcomed me and has been such a big source of support this semester.”
The rest of the team was consistently strong, as eight Jumbos claimed top nine finishes throughout the event.
Senior tri-captain Amanda Gottschalk continued her impressive campaign with a fifth place finish in the 200-yard backstroke (2:25.97). Gottschalk also finished eighth overall in the 400-yard individual medley, while sophomore Sydney Nasson placed sixth in the same event (4:40.61, 17 points). Senior tri-captain Sophia Lin, junior Meghan Casey and sophomore Ailish Dougherty each collected ninth place finishes in their respective swims, and senior Kylie Reiman also placed ninth in each of her diving events.
On the third day of the event, the relay team of Goetcheus, Gottschalk, sophomore Alexandra Good and Lin earned a fifth place finish in the finals of the 200-yard medley relay (1:50.35) for 36 team points. Good, first-year Hannah Truslow and sophomore Coolleen Doolan teamed together for the 400-yard freestyle relay and finished seventh as a group.
After the meet, coach Adam Hoyt praised his team’s commitment in preparing for the season and emphasized that details and technique will make the biggest difference moving forward.
“We’ll continue to work on the details,” Hoyt said. “Over the next two months, we’ll be focusing a lot on being disciplined in training and staying focused on the technical aspects of our racing. I believe the performance this past weekend reinforced how well our women were prepared coming into our season. They trained well in the off-season, and typically that shows in early-season meets and then even more in the championship season.”
The Jumbos will proceed to their last meet of 2016 as they travel to Wesleyan University on Saturday, Dec. 10 for a quad-meet with Wesleyan, Williams and RPI.