Swimming & diving celebrates grads

Stephan Toljan, Senior Staff Writer

UVM women’s swimming and diving team hosted the University of Rhode Island Jan. 19 for their last home meet.

Each senior was congratulated by Athletic Director Jeff Schulman. They were also presented with a bouquet from head coach Gerry Cournoyer and posed for pictures.

The meet began shortly after the ceremony with the 200-yard medley relay, which earned UVM second and fourth-place finishes.

Senior swimmer Katrina Posnick posted a time over 10 seconds faster than the second-place finisher in the 1,000-yard freestyle.

The next event in the meet was the 200-yard freestyle, again featuring Posnick, as well as junior Sophia Smith and junior Maddy Kovacs.

Smith swam to victory in the event, posting a time of 1:57.25, with Posnick finishing in fourth and Kovacs in sixth.

After watching the second and third events, first-year Nick Nestro said that he didn’t understand the order of the events.

“It just doesn’t make sense to me to put the 200-freestyle right after the 1000-yard freestyle,” he said. “[Posnick] just swam 1,000 yards and now you make her get back into the pool and swim more?”       

The swimming continued for another five events, with first place finishes posted in the 100-yard backstroke and the 200-yard butterfly by sophomore swimmer Kendall Ware and senior swimmer Julia Degregorio.

Diving, which began after the 50-yard freestyle, started with the 1-meter dive.

Senior diver Ashley Branagan finished in third place with a final score of 216.44. Sophomore diver Emily Murphy finished fifth with a final score of 173.47.

First-year Maddie Spear said that she enjoyed watching the diving events.

“The swimming is impressive, but the diving is the coolest thing to watch,” she said.

Junior swimmer Sierra Sexton swam to a second-place finish in the 100-yard freestyle, posting a time of 0:54.47.

UVM’s next first-place finish came in the 200-yard backstroke where junior swimmer Morgan Montgomery posted a time of 2:09.77 to win the event.

Senior swimmer Haley Gula placed second in the 200-yard breaststroke.

Even with the efforts of all of the swimmers and divers, including another first-place finish by Posnick in the 500-yard freestyle, URI beat UVM 175-125.

Following the meet, Cournoyer said that he knew the day’s matchup was going to be difficult.

“I knew going into it based on some of the injuries we had and some of the kids who are no longer with us from the first semester that this was going to be a really tough meet,” he said.

He also said that URI performed at a high level during the meet.

“URI really stepped it up,” he said. “When we beat them [in an event], they would score enough points to make up the difference.”

Cournoyer also said that URI was a team that had come prepared.

“We had to be perfect today, and very seldom are you perfect this time of the year,” he said.

This meet came after a 231-69 loss to Northeastern University Jan. 12.

“Last weekend was really rough,” Cournoyer said. “Our girls really showed up today. To see all the fans, the pep band was here — it was the right way to send our seniors off.”