Saturday’s meet against Connecticut College and Bates College marked this season’s final home event for Wellesley College Swimming and Diving. Wellesley dropped the meet against both schools, finishing the day with a 203-92 loss to Bates College and falling 180-106 to Connecticut College. Despite the losses, the Blue currently stand at an impressive 9-3 record.
Maura Sticco-Ivins ’18 kicked off the meet with a strong start for Wellesley, winning the one-meter diving competition with a score of 285.95, followed closely by Emily Moore ’18, who took third with 266.10. The three-meter board event featured a Wellesley sweep of the top three performances, with Sticco-Ivins attaining her second win, scoring 311.95, followed by Maddie Stern ’17 and Moore, scoring 277.85 and 272.45 respectively.
Dorothy Ren ’16 grabbed several top-three finishes, winning the 50m backstroke event with a time of 27.09, placing second in the 50m butterfly in 26.20 and third in 50m freestyle with a time of 25.09. Hannah August ’17 also earned second place in the 200m backstroke with a time of 2:13.33.
Senior tri-captains Grace Bachman, Tiffany Chen and Gabby Cooper-Vespa gave great performances as they competed for their last time in Chandler Pool.
“Four years have really flown by, and I never understood it truly when people told me that four years would fly by, until I experienced it myself. To me, a home meet felt like performing on my own piano and making it shine, except in my home pool, I’m helping my team and my pool shine,” Chen said.
The continued support from the Wellesley community at home meets this season truly exemplified Blue Pride and encouraged the team to do well in their competitions. The final meet with Connecticut and Bates was no exception.
“I would like to thank the alumnae, fellow Blue athletes, faculty, friends and parents who came out to support us,” Cooper-Vespa said.
Wellesley administration also supported the swimming and diving team by improving their facilities. The Chandler Pool, where Wellesley practices and home meets are held, has undergone several improvements over the last several years, including new training equipment.
“With the help of Wellesley alumnae and the athletics department, we have been able to purchase new touchpads and starting blocks, which is really exciting,” Bachman remarked.
As the season continues to progress, the swimming and diving team has become a cohesive unit built in an environment of mutual encouragement.
“As an upperclassman this year, I have been fortunate to be a part of two teams in the past. The difference this year is in the overall level of support for one another. This is something that distinguishes this team from the teams of years past,” Ren said.
Out of the pool, Blue Swimming and Diving maintains a strong community.
“I think it really speaks to the character of Wellesley students and the culture of athletics at Wellesley when your team is truly your family,” Bachman said.
The tri-captains are excited about the growth of their team and look to continue expanding their ambitions.
“I am most proud of how we have matured over the season in our races and dives, becoming fiercer and more aggressive competitors,” Chen said.
The Blue will now prepare for a busy and exciting February schedule, which includes the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Championship, the biggest meet of their season.
“I am looking forward to seeing how well the team performs because we have been training hard, leaving it all in the pool, consistently showing improvement,” Ren said.
“We’re hoping, also, to send some teammates to nationals. With the work ethic and grace that this team has displayed thus far, I can’t wait to see what we can do at NEWMACs,” Chen added.
The Wellesley College Swimming and Diving team has a lot to look forward to in the next upcoming months as they continue to train and compete.
Wellesley will compete next at the Wheaton Invitational on Friday, Feb. 6 and Saturday, Feb. 7.