Swim Teams Close Out Season on a High Note

Image courtesy of Wooster Athletics.
Langston Hood, Senior Sports Writer
Eliot Barrengos, Contributing Writer

The Wooster swimming and diving teams took on the NCAC Championships last weekend with both performing admirably as the women’s team finished fourth and the men claimed their first top-three finish in two decades, claiming a collective bronze medal at the conclusion of the meet. The meet took place at Denison University in the Trumbull Aquatics Center.

The men’s team was engaged in a fierce quarrel with the Little Giants of Wabash, and there were many junctures that forced the Scots to battle back, one being when Wabash took the lead after the 1,650-meter freestyle, but the 100-meter individual medley allowed Wooster to pull themselves back into third. Doak Schultz ’23 led the charge just missing the school-record of 52.41 seconds and posting a time of 52.71 to finish in fifth-place. He was followed by Boston Sullivan ’26 who won the consolation final and earned himself the third fastest time in Wooster history, Noah Golovan ’23 who finished ninth in the championship and lowered his collegiate best to 53.84 seconds, good for fourth on the all-time list. For Sullivan, the atmosphere of the Wooster swim and dive team has been a major factor in his first year of success; the first-year won the consolation final with a time of 53.8 seconds, and he now sits third on Wooster’s all-time leaderboard. He reflected on his first year saying, “My first year of swimming at Wooster has been an incredible new experience. Being a part of such a close-knit team has been an enriching experience and a breath of fresh air.” He attributed a great deal of the Scots’ success to their attitude throughout the week adding that, “Wooster was the loudest team on the pool deck, giving everyone confidence both going into their races and after their races. Both the atmosphere and our diligent training led to the team’s great success.” First-year Flynn Cowie also broke into the program record book, as he finished 13th. 

For both Schultz and Golovan, last week marked the ending of the final season of their collegiate career. Both senior swimmers reflected on their time in the pool with the Scots, with Schultz saying, “My time swimming at Wooster has been one of the most formative experiences of my life. It has represented the best opportunity I’ve ever had to grow as a student, athlete, adult, teammate and friend. Day in and day out, I’ve been fortunate enough to be surrounded by a group of people who are dedicated to working together for no reason other than wanting to push themselves and see each other succeed…the Wooster swim team has cultivated a fantastic group of dedicated athletes, and I am honored to have called myself a part of that.” Golovan, the ninth place finisher who lowered his own collegiate-best time with a 53.84-second swim in prelims and climbed to fourth on the program’s list of top times, added that “Success comes easy in a place like this one…Getting the honor of having my name in the record books is just icing on the cake for the last four years.” 

After a back-and-forth battle, which saw third place change hands four separate times, the 200-meter butterfly allowed Wooster to seize control once and for all. A stroke of genius from the coaching staff and an incredible effort from the swimmers saw Wooster dominate in this event, scoring 87 points to Wabash’s 39. Aquatic weapon Josh Pearson ’24 beat his own school record by three seconds to post a NCAA D-III “B cut” time, which was good for fifth at the meet. 

When reached for comment, Pearson spoke about this battle with Wabash, “The most memorable part of the meet was definitely the finals session on the last day. We swam fast in the morning, and we were positioned very well for finals. We were in a battle for third with Wabash, and every point mattered. Instead of buckling under the pressure, our team thrived, with almost everyone either holding their spot or moving up. Overall, it was really exciting to see everyone swimming so well and to have it all culminate in our highest finish in two decades.” Isaac Shaker ’25 also played a pivotal role in the final as he finished eighth and recorded Wooster’s seventh-fastest best time ever in the event. Matt Kaley ’26 swam to a 12th-place time, allowing Wooster to place three Fighting Scots ahead of the first Little Giant. 

After the diving portion of the finals, Leo Edmonds-Doberenz ’26 had placed Wooster 14 points ahead of Wabash with an 11th place score, meaning Wooster just had to be within arms-length of the Little Giants in the closing 400-meter freestyle relay. Wooster’s big guns got the job done as the team of Callum Glover ’26, Ryan Gross ’25, Pearson and Schultz finished sixth, while Wabash finished fourth to give the Scots sole possession of third place. 

The women’s 400-meter freestyle relay also fared well as the team of Hallie Findlan ’25, Gracie Duchon ’26, Maddie Becker ’24 and Ollie Bream ’25 finished fourth. The star-studded line-up tallied three of Wooster’s eight championship finishes on Saturday. Becker placed seventh in the 200-meter breaststroke, making another revision to the top-10 list with a time of 2:24.90, and reflected on the meet saying, “I feel like both the men’s and women’s teams had some exhilarating races that have motivated me to want to be better for the next upcoming season. It was an honor to be a part of this team and watch everyone achieve something that they have been dreaming of.” 

Duchon notched an eighth-place finish in the 100-meter butterfly and seventh in the 100-meter individual medley for the second-best time in program history behind only Becker. Duchon, the youngest member of the cornerstone relay team, has already begun looking forward as she said, “Personally, I didn’t know if I was going to swim coming into college, so I didn’t know what to expect. I definitely will be more serious about training this summer. Hopefully I can reach some more of my goals then.”

Later on, Wooster would use the 1,650-meter freestyle to cement the women’s fourth-place finish, Lacey Mindock ’26 pushed the front line placing seventh with another top-10 time, followed by JP Timken ’25, who also broke into the top-10 and Emma Connors ’24. Mindock reflected on the team’s energy throughout the weekend saying, “The most memorable part of the meet was the level of support and cheering on the pool deck. Specifically on the first night, hearing my team chant my name and the names of the other girls on my relay was really special. Also, after my mile, getting out of the pool and seeing my friends behind my lane smiling and supporting me was a really amazing feeling. Our team has something incredibly special with the amount of support and camaraderie we share. We wouldn’t be the team we are without it.”

Bream, the anchor of the 400-meter freestyle, also clocked in at 2:06.66 in the 200-meter butterfly, good for a sixth-place finish. She also showcased her own writing acumen in her testament of the weekend saying, “I think the most memorable part of the meet was our final 400-meter relay, being behind the blocks with such incredibly strong and powerful women who I look up to every day at practice. Being able to motivate one another and laugh together as we prepared to dive in for the last time this year, was just so much fun. I can’t even tell you what we were laughing about but it brought levity to the session and a joy that I think everyone needed at that time. It had been such a long week and I think before that relay we were all feeling it; we were sore, tired, and hungry; but watching my teammates put everything on the line to swim as fast as they could? Unmatched, and I am so proud of everyone for what they did this season. I’m so excited to see Wooster climb even higher in our conference rankings over the next two years.”

Congratulations to the Swimming and Diving Team on a great season, best of luck to those participating in this weekend’s meet!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: