Langston Hood, Senior Sports Writer
Wooster’s swimming and diving teams continued their dominant dual meet record as both the men’s and women’s teams defeated Hiram and Oberlin in commanding fashion last Saturday. The men downed Oberlin by a score of 131-121 and defeated Hiram 205-39. The women’s team followed suit with a 144-98 win over Oberlin and a 199-33 win over Hiram. This is nothing new for our celebrated swim and dive team, as Coach Harrington’s two decades of dedication to this program have yielded great success and propelled the team to the pinnacle of NCAC swimming. Last weekend’s victories marked the third consecutive season and fifth season in the last six that the men beat each NCAC team. The women achieved an impressive feat as well, continuing their 22 dual meet winning streak and marking the eighth time in the last nine seasons that they conquered every NCAC team they faced. The Scots will not be satisfied, as bigger goals still lie on the horizon with the upcoming NCAC Championships and the National Championships coming soon after.
There were many standout performances on both teams, as the women began the day with a victory in the 200-meter medley relay, as the team of sophomore Hallie Findlan, junior Maddie Becker, sophomore Ollie Bream, and first-year Gracie Duchon beat out the rest of the field to secure pivotal points for the Scots. These swimmers would be pivotal in claiming victory for the Scots, as they spearheaded the rest of the women’s team.
Findlan would go on a rampage, claiming three more wins on her own in the 50-meter backstroke, 50-meter freestyle, and the 100-meter freestyle, proving to be more fish than human. Bream also put on a show, winning the 100-meter IM with the 10th best time in Wooster history, which she followed up with a season’s best time that won her the 100-meter butterfly. Becker notched her own individual victory in the 100-meter freestyle while senior Min Kim took second.
Becker spoke to the unity of this team as she focused not on her success, but how she looks forward to watching them. When asked about next week she said, “I am very excited to see what the team has in store for the NCAC championships. Everybody has given it their all at every dual meet, practice and at midseason, so we are going to see some fast times in the next upcoming week. I am very proud of the work everyone has put in and know that everybody is going to accomplish at least one of their goals, if not all by the end of this season.”
Sophomore Izzy Bellefleur also claimed a victory in the 100-meter breaststroke and said the following about the meet: “Last meet was a sprint meet with fierce competition and we managed to pull off a win against both teams we were competing against, leading the women’s team to an undefeated dual meet season. The wins we had were amazing, and we continue to push ourselves to be the best swimmers we can be as we head into the NCAC championships.”
The men’s team enjoyed similar success as their 200-meter medley relay team pushed the team to victory, as the team of junior Josh Pearson, senior Noah Golovan, senior Doak Schultz and first-year Callum Glover finished second in their relay. As per usual, Pearson would not stop there as he stormed to victory in the 100-meter fly and placed second in the 100-meter back with personal times of 52.26 and 54.48, respectively. Pearson had this to say when asked how the team achieved so much success this year: “I would say our greatest attribute is our togetherness. When we unite around a goal, we’re capable of great things. Our competitiveness also translates well for us from practice to competition. Pushing each other to be our best in practice allows us to succeed and will set us up well for our conference meet next week.”
Schultz also found success as he won the 50-meter freestyle, 100-meter IM and placed second in the 100-meter breaststroke. Glover won the 100-meter freestyle, placed second in the 100-meter butterfly and helped the 200-meter freestyle relay team to a second-place finish. First-year Leo Edmonds-Doberenz reigned victorious in the 1-meter dive and the 3-meter dive.
Wooster has been nothing short of exceptional this season as they have faced the doubt of haters at each and every juncture. But to this, senior Noah Fox had one thing to say: “They said we’d lose by 50, but we flipped the table on them.” This is the spirit that makes our Wooster swimmers and divers the incredible humans and competitors they are, but the best is yet to come. Everybody knows fish swim in schools and these ones aren’t breaking up anytime soon.
Wish your Wooster Swimmers and Divers good luck as they travel to Denison for the NCAC Championships next week, Feb. 8 through 11.