Swim and dive team comes on strong

The women’s swimming and diving team has had a solid season.

The team’s current record is 7-7 and they hope to swim their way to success in the America East Championships.

The Catamounts had trouble earning victories early on in the year.

In their season opener at Army in West Point, N.Y., Vermont lost to Boston University 204-96 then fell to Army 197-103.

First-year Courtney Gray took second place in the 100 butterfly event with a time of 57.91 and was Vermont’s top finisher.

“Our freshmen have really stepped up this season and they have had a huge impact on our success,” coach Gerry Cournoyer said.

Following the meet at Army, the Catamounts traveled to Staten Island, N.Y. to face off against Wagner College.

Despite setting three pool records, the Cats fell to the Seahawks 172-128.

Sophomore Christa Weaver won both the 50 and 100 freestyle events, setting new Wagner pool records in both events.

Gray earned her first individual win of her career as she finished first in the 100 butterfly event with a time of 58.12.

The following week the Catamounts traveled to Durham, N.H. to compete against the University of New Hampshire.

Although Vermont earned the top spot in seven events, they fell to the Wildcats 171-129.

Going into November, Vermont found what they had been missing when they faced off against Siena College Nov. 2.

The meet marked the start of a six-game winning streak for Vermont.

The Catamounts earned the top spot in 10 events and broke two pool records on their way to defeating Siena 132-90 in their home opener.

“Our focus this season has been to develop each one of our athletes and help them to compete at a high level,” Cournoyer said.

That is exactly what they have done.

Weaver, who has been named America East swimmer of the week three times this season, took first place in the 100 freestyle event and broke pool records with a time of 51.99.

Senior Eva Wimberley was strong in her event as she swam her way to the top time in the 100 breaststroke.

The Catamounts went on to win against UMaine, Central Connecticut State University, Merrimack College and Bryant University.

They also earned first place at the Terrier Invitational hosted by Boston University.

This is a meet that Weaver and her team said that they were especially proud of.

“It was a meet that showed our depth and true potential,” Weaver said.

“The win was truly a team-wide accomplishment. Every member of the team rose to the challenge,” she said.

“I feel that this team is very well prepared and they will compete at a very high level,” Cournoyer said.

The Catamounts will take those words with them as they go onto compete in the America East Championships in Worchester, Mass. Feb. 13 through 16.