Women’s Swimming starts season with ‘W’

In the opening meet of the season, the University of Vermont women’s swimming and diving team defeated Siena 126-94 on Oct. 14. The Catamounts ended each race strong throughout the meet, breaking three freshman records as well as taking top three spots in the 1,000 freestyle, and the 100 butterfly. The freshman records in the 200 freestyle and the 100 freestyle were broken by freshmen Molly MacMillan and Colleen Clark with times of 1:57.03 and 53.60, respectively. Clark’s time set a Siena pool record. “We’ve been training really hard for this season,” Clark said. “If we train harder and keep breaking records then we’re doing something right.” The 200 yard freestyle relay freshman record was also broken by Shiloh Page, Colleen Withers, Clark and MacMillan with a time of 1:43.00. In the 1,000 freestyle, sophomore Lauren Honrath finished first, followed by Withers and junior Lindsay Richardson. In the 100 fly, sophomore Eryka Karz took first place with junior Nicole Underhill and freshman Leigh Galligan finishing second and third, respectively. “Personally I’m where I was at the beginning of last season,” Underhill said. “I’m swimming the breaststroke, which I haven’t done since high school but in terms of the fly, I’m working to re-break my records from the end of last season.” Underhill holds the varsity and freshman record in the 200 fly, a varsity record in the 200 individual medley and the freshman and varsity records in the 400 individual medley. For practices, the girls are broken up into two sessions, allowing them flexibility to work with their academic schedule, said head coach Gerry Cournoyer. Despite this separation, the additional early morning whole-team practices give the girls the opportunity to build leadership and team unity by working with both younger and older athletes. The girls train to perform as an entire team at all the meets, especially those that count in the conference, Cournoyer said. “When we’re swimming we score for the team,” Clark said. “We work for everyone else, not just on the individual level even if most of the time we are swimming by ourselves.” The diving team also performed well against Siena as sophomore Katie Nikitas won the one and three meter dives, and will continue to develop into the team’s top diver, Cournoyer said. As for the meet against Niagra on Sunday, he added that the team will not underestimate their opposition and will step up to the challenge they are presented. “We’re really focused the task at hand,” Cournoyer said. “We look for girls who will continue to develop as every season progresses and that’s exactly what we’ve seen so far.”