Swim teams sweep Middlebury, break three Tarbell Pool records

Liam Conklin, Tristan Depew and Kyle Crans take off in the men's 200-yard freestyle during Bates' victory over Middlebury on Jan. 12, 2020. (Theophil Syslo/Bates College)

LEWISTON, Maine -- The Bates swimming and diving teams set three Tarbell Pool relay records en route to an impressive sweep of NESCAC rival Middlebury on Saturday, with the men's team outscoring Middlebury 204-90 and the Bates women winning by a 200-94 score.

"All in all, we aren't really that fast, yet. But we are showing signs of it... and more importantly, we are scratching and clawing out tiny victories when it's tough," said head coach Peter Casares.

The women's 200-yard medley relay team of sophomore Isabel Mohammadi-Hall (Saratoga, Calif.), first-year Abigail Gibbons (Westtown, N.Y.), junior Caroline Apathy (Devon, Pa.) and first-year Megan Strynar (Lexington, S.C.) opened the meet by breaking the facility record in a winning time of 1:48.91. The previous pool record of 1:49.20 was set less than a year ago, Jan. 18, 2019, by the Bates squad of Janika Ho, Emmy Daigle, Apathy and Caroline Sweeney.

The men's 200-yard freestyle relay team of first-year John Marcolina (Mystic, Conn.), first-year Nathan Berry (Augusta, Maine), sophomore Dan Waterland (Chadds Ford, Pa.) and sophomore Pieter Cory (Dublin, Calif.) capped the meet by taking 0.82 seconds off the Tarbell record with a time of 1:26.02. The Bates quartet beat the previous mark of 1:26.84 set by Connecticut College in 2012.

First-year Gabby Smart (Clinton, Mont.) also broke a pool record in the 400-yard individual medley, one of three event wins for her on the day.

Winning performances by the Bates men's team included:

  • Berry, senior Matt Charest (Lewiston, Maine), sophomore Andrew Hall (Little Silver, N.J.) and Marcolina opened the men's meet with a 2.57-second victory in the 200-yard medley relay, with a time of 1:35.86.
  • Sophomore Osceola Heard (Newark, N.J.) won 1-meter diving with 226.85 points.
  • Cory won the 50 freestyle (21.70). "Pieter Cory had a blast today, splitting his best ever 50 free, swimming his best in-season 50 free, and also showing off his versatility in the 500 free grabbing second place," said Casares.
  • Sophomore Kyle Jorgensen (Lawrenceville, N.J.) won the 200-yard freestyle (1:46.60), leading a 1-2-3-4 Bates sweep in the event. Jorgensen also took first place in the 200-yard backstroke (1:57.58). "Two of the best races we've seen put together this year," said Casares. "His 200 free and 200 back were both risky and fast. I was very proud of him."
  • Berry won the 100-yard backstroke (53.39)
  • Charest won the 100 breaststroke (1:00.57).
  • First-year Edmond Giang (Wayland, Mass.) won the 200 butterfly (1:58.30) and the 100 butterfly (52.98).
  • First-year Nate Sommer (Terre Haute, Ind.) won the 200 breaststroke in 2:13.99.
  • Senior Alexander Ignatov (Trumbull, Conn.) won the 500-yard freestyle in 4:52.52. "Alexander hasn't looked that good in a race since he was shaved and tapered freshman year," said Casares. He did some pretty special things in practice on Saturday, and it showed big time today."
  • Sophomore Jack Johnson (Brewster, Mass.) won the 400-yard individual medley in 4:14.26.

Winning performances by the Bates women's team included:

  • Smart won the 100-yard backstroke (57.77), the 500 freestyle in 5:08.62, and the 400-yard individual medley in 4:43.27. Her 400 IM topped the former Tarbell Pool record of 4:37.60 set by Sara Daher in 2014.
  • First-year Julia Bisson (North Yarmouth, Maine) won 1-meter diving with 214.65 points, edging Middlebury's MaryCate Carroll by 0.45.
  • Sophomore Maya Reynoso Williams (Somerville, Mass.) won the 200-yard freestyle in 1:57.25 and the 100 freestyle in 53.63. "Maya showed some tremendous speed today after displaying great endurance in our last meet against Dartmouth," said Casares. "She is once again doing some great things."
  • Senior Emmy Daigle (Portland, Ore.) won the 100 breaststroke in 1:08.48 and the 200 breaststroke in 2:28.64.
  • Mohammadi-Hall won the 200 butterfly (2:12.96)
  • Gibbons won the 50 freestyle (24.91)
  • Senior Hannah Johnson (Brewster, Mass.) won the 200 backstroke in 2:09.74.
  • Apathy, in her first meet of the season, won the 100-yard butterfly in 58.90 seconds.
  • The women's team finished with a 0.50-second win in the 200 freestyle relay, with sophomore Suzy Ryckman (Riverside, Conn.), Gibbons, Strynar and junior Erin Bucki (Eagan, Minn.) finishing in 1:39.76.

"We not only have to work with extreme intent these next four weeks, but we have to be both scrappy and gutsy in our races if we want to challenge Bowdoin and Colby next weekend, and the rest of the conference in a month," said Casares.