Quakers swim into fourth at Yellow Jacket Invitational

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Quakers swim into fourth at Yellow Jacket Invitational

(Jack Sinclair)

(Jack Sinclair)

(Jack Sinclair)

(Jack Sinclair)

The Yellow Jacket Invitational was held Nov. 19 and 20 at Randolph-Macon College, where the Quaker swim team competed in a total of 18 events.

Swimming against Bridgewater College, Randolph-Macon College, Frostburg State University, College of Notre Dame, Hood College and Emory and Henry College, Guilford earned 176 points for fourth place.

Randolph-Macon is predicted to be second in the conference with Bridgewater fourth and Guilford eighth.

“The girls swam as if they were on fire,”said head coach Steve Kaczmarek. “It was amazing and shows their hard work. I haven’t seen them this fired up in a long time.”

With their largest team ever, the swim team competed at this pre-conference meet in Ashland, Va, supported by banner-waving parents.

Proving their consistency in relays throughout the meet, the Quakers placed sixth in the 200-yard freestyle and the 800-yard freestyle relays. They also placed seventh in 400-yard freestyle and medley relays.

Both sophomore Allison Semmler and senior Kim Abbott swam in four of the top Guilford relay teams.

“The relay teams were great,” said first-year Susanna Herrick. “They worked really well together.”

With a final time of 27.31, Herrick placed fifth in the 50-yard freestyle, leading Guilford’s results of the first session.

“A lot of girls had some personal bests and swam really hard,” said senior Abbott. “It definitely showed we need the entire team there at every meet.”

At the end of the first day, after swimming five events, Guilford held third place behind Randolph-Macon College and Bridgewater College.

At 58 points, Frostburg State University trailed the Quakers by a single point.

The second day started with the 200-yard medley relay, where the Guilford team of Abbott, Herrick, junior Kelcey Johnson and Semmler placed sixth.

Gaining a total of 16 points for the team, senior Daphne Murphy, Abbott and first-year Kendra Medina took seventh, eighth and ninth respectively, in the 200-yard individual freestyle.

The 100-yard butterfly featured another Guilford back-to-back with junior Rebecca Bacon and senior Sara Waitsman placing seventh and eighth out of 16 competitors. Beating her seed by seven seconds at 1:28.13, Johnson placed eighth in the 100-yard breaststroke, gaining five points for the team.

Murphy completed the 1650-yard, 66 lap freestyle for 10th place, while University of Mary Washington’s Jessica Singer set a new pool record of 17:47.38.

At the end of the two days, Guilford placed fourth, trailing third place Hood College by one point. Home-team Randolph-Macon totaled 774 points to clinch first place. In men’s swimming, Frostburg took first over Hood and Mary Washington.

“We left knowing we gave it our all, said Murphy. “I think we need to improve in putting less pressure on ourselves.”

“Guilford swimmers strive in our balancing acts; we all work so hard in swimming, while at the same time completing school work, and each of us is involved in extracurricular activities,” Murphey said.

The girls have proven their skills at balancing too, as they have the highest GPA of all Guilford sports teams.

For a team whose home pool website says, “please check back later,” the Guilford women’s swim team has been training and competing diligently.

“It’s such an effort just to get to a pool,” said Herrick, “but we were competitive in the meet and have a lot of potential. I just wish more girls would decide to join.”

The team’s next meet is at Bridgewater, which placed second at the R-M invitational.

“I am excited about the rest of the season,” said Murphy. “We have some of the best swimmers I have ever seen in my four years here and I can’t wait to see what we can accomplish together. “

Coach Kaczmarek is proud of the girls’ hard work while expressing enthusiastic about the team’s future.

“Swimming isn’t like other sports; if you swim well you’ve won,” said Kaczmarek.

 

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