With an 0-3 start to the season, the women’s swimming team looked to claim their first victory of the season against New Hampshire. Maine was unable to accomplish the feat and came up short in the contest, as the Wildcats took this one with a final score of 166 to 104. The Black Bears remain winless at 0-4 on the year, while the Wildcats are now 5-3.
The meet began with New Hampshire claiming first place in the 200-yard medley relay, where fourth-year Sarah Broderick, first-year Milana Evston and third-years Colby Harvey and Liza Baykova finished with a time of 1:46.75. They were awarded 11 points.
Baykova went on to break a record in the 200-yard freestyle, finishing with a time of 1:49.64. The previous record was 1:50.03 and was held by Wildcat Sydney Tribou, who set it during the 2013 America East Championships.
“I can’t believe I beat Sydney’s record and I don’t know if I’ve ever been so happy. I love competing with these girls — and they’re the reason I keep pushing myself,” Baykova said.
Maine was unable to come in first until the seventh event, when third-year Juliana McDonald picked up an individual win in the 50-yard freestyle with a final time of 24.65 seconds and increased her team’s point total by nine.
“It’s tough to keep pace with a good team like them and it’s sort of a relief to come away with a first place finish because it shows we have potential,” McDonald said.
New Hampshire won four more events in a row, including Baykova’s first place finish in the 100-yard freestyle. She had a time of 51.09 seconds, coming a full two seconds ahead of her fellow teammate, Broderick.
“We gave our full effort today and it shows on the big board. The confidence we have establishes the desire to win and we’ll use that as we go into the championships,” New Hampshire Head Coach Josh Willman said.
The 14th event would be a different story, as four of Maine’s women took the top rankings in the 200-yard individual medley. Second-year Megan McGillivray finished first with a time of 2:18.71 and was followed by third-year Victoria Kingston and first-years Eliza Costigan and Shannon Dowd.
Maine was able to claim back-to-back victories for the first time in the 15th event for the 200-yard freestyle relay. Third-years Emily Borger and McDonald — and first-years Rita Chen and Emma Blair — contributed for a time of 1:39.20, winning a well-deserved 11 points.
“New Hampshire deserves credit for their performance, but that doesn’t take away from the successful runs that these girls contributed to their team,” Maine Head Coach Susan Lizzotte said.
The Wildcats would close out the meet with two more wins in the one meter and three meter diving events, as the Black Bears could not make this out to be a close one, falling 166-104.
After Maine returned to action with the men’s team on Saturday, January 28 at home at 11 a.m. against Providence College, their next meet will be held on Saturday, February 4 on the road at 4 p.m. at the Cougar Invitational. The University of New Hampshire competes next in the America East Championships in Worcester, Mass., which go from Thursday, February 9 to Sunday, February 12.
UMaine Men swim to a victory
Men’s swimming and diving squared off against Providence College Saturday morning at the Stanley M. Wallace Pool and earned an impressive 169-120 victory against the Friars.
First-year Kyle Adams put on an inspired performance, qualifying for the Eastern College Athletic Conference Championships, winning the 1-meter dive with 278.32 points and earning top showing in the 3-meter with 256.72 points.
Fourth-year Nick Sundquist also played a key role team’s success. Sundquist has been the cornerstone for the men’s swim team in his tenure at Maine and he continued the success on his senior day. Sundquist placed first in both the 200 yard freestyle and 100 yard freestyle.
“It feels good,” Sundquist said, “I know most of these guys. I’ve swam against Providence a lot. They’re good competition.” Sundquist’s success in the freestyle Saturday played a significant role in leading the Black Bears to their victory over Providence.
Other notable finishes Saturday came during the 200-yard medley. Sundquist, Eric Delmonte, Kevin Clyne and Shane Kinnon placed first with a time of 1:37.27.
Delmonte had a trifecta of victories individually as well, winning the 100-yard breaststroke (58.48), the 200-yard breaststroke (2:08.87) and the 200-yard IM (2:00.44) during competition. Calvin Cleworth and Connor Mayhew also finished first in their respective events. Cleworth won the 200 yard fly with a time of 2:00.35 and Mayhew was the first to touch the wall in the 100 yard backstroke (55.25). Mayhew also placed second in the 200 yard back, finishing with a time of 1:59.43.
The Black Bears will be back at it again February 4 for the Cougar Invitational. “Everyone today is working to make their cut times for the ECAC. I’m excited to participate in my last one,” Sundquist said when asked about preparing for the ECAC Championships, which begin Feb. 24.