The men’s and women’s swim team travelled to Denison this weekend to kick off their 2014-2015 season. The Maroons fell to the Big Red, 182–109. However, the dual meet was not a total loss, as young talent on both the men’s and women’s side performed well, showing promise for the program’s future.
“The team was a bit nervous but mostly excited for the opportunity to compete against fast swimmers who we won't see again until NCAAs,” second-year Liz Joyce said. “It was mentally challenging but a really good opportunity to start off the season with some good racing.”
Two rookies particularly stood out against Denison.
On the men’s side, first-year Alex Lin pulled in first-place finishes in both the 100-yard backstroke (53.02) and 200-yard IM (1:57.36) in his collegiate debut. He also finished second in the 200-yard backstroke.
On the women’s team, fellow first-year Melissa Bischoff swam the 100-yard backstroke in 58.83 seconds, bringing home her first victory. Bischoff also competed on the second-place 200-yard medley relay team and earned sixth in the 200-yard backstroke
“The success of the freshman really shows the improvement of the program, which became apparent last year at NCAAs, when both teams got 10th place. This is a lot better than in previous years,” Joyce said. “The future of the program is looking good, both because of the returning talent and how fast the first-years were able to go in their first official collegiate meet.”
For the women, second-year and returning national champion Abby Erdman brought home two first-place finishes in the 100-yard butterfly (59.71) and as a part of the 200-yard freestyle relay team. The first-place 200-yard freestyle relay team comprised of Erdman, second-year Maya Scheidl, third-year Jen Law, and fourth-year Jennifer Hill finished the race in 1:40.24.
“Denison is one of the strongest teams in Division III, and it was definitely a challenge to compete against them for our first meet of our season,” Scheidl said. “The relay was the most exciting because it showed that we were right up with them, which is a good sign for the rest of our season.”
Second-year Alison Wall and third-year Ciara Hu earned first place in the 200-yard backstroke (2:10.54) and 200-yard IM (2:18.40), respectively.
For the Maroon men, second-year Kevin Ku matched Lin with two first-place victories on the day. Ku took the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 52.10 and the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 1:53.96. The only other Maroon first-place finish was the 200-yard freestyle relay. The team, comprised of second-year Jeremy Estes, third-year Thomas Meek, third-year Andrew Homere, and third-year Matthew Veldman finished with a time of 1:26.10.
The Maroons host Wheaton on Saturday. The meet begins at 11 a.m.