Coming off wins against the Carnegie Mellon Tartans, the women’s and men’s swimming teams headed to Columbus, Ohio for the Ohio State Winter Invitational.
Because this is one of the last meets of the season, the Blue Jays were looking to continue their consistent success.
On the first night of competition, the 200 Free Relay team of senior Alison Shapiro, senior Sonia Lin, junior Mikayla Bisignani and sophomore Kristen Alicea-Jorgensen took second with a time of 1:34.87, meeting the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) B standards.
Continuing the trend of meeting the B standards, freshman Cali Wilson swam the 200 IM in 2:09.64 for third place.
To finish the first night, Bisignani, Lin, freshman Emerson Davis and Alicea-Jorgensen combined their efforts for a third place finish in the 400 Medley Relay, clocking in at 3:54.59.
The second day of the invitational held more fast times for the Blue Jays. Six Hopkins swimmers made the cut for the 200 Free.
Junior Emma McElrath led the way in the B finals, placing second with a time of 1:52.52. Fellow juniors Hanan Bandak and Carmela Irato took sixth and eighth place in the finals respectively.
In the C finals of the 200 Free, freshman Chase Lahr snagged fourth with Shapiro and freshman Rayna Saldanha taking the eighth and ninth spots. Lahr finished in 1:56.53, Shapiro in 1:59.27 and Saldanha in 1:59.59.
Lin took third in the 100 Breast, while senior Clare State finished in first for the B final of the event.
The best from the women’s team came on the last night of competition. Davis broke the freshman record in the 200 Fly, touching in at 2:03.76. With the record-breaking performance, Davis finished sixth in the event and now holds the eighth fastest time in the event in program history.
The 200 Back saw McElrath finish in seventh in the A Final and Lahr take second in the B final.
In the 100 Free, six Blue Jays made the finals. Bandak came in eighth place in the A final, finishing at 52.62.
Alicea-Jorgensen, Bisignani and Shapiro to spots four through six in the B final of the same event.
Junior Tiffany Lara took first in the C final with teammate Saldanha close behind at third.
To close off the invitational, the relay of Irato, McElrath, Bandak and Shapiro swam for 3:34.20 in the 400 Free Relay to place third.
The men’s team found similar success this past weekend. Three records fell on just the first day.
Sophomore Jeffrey Vitek clocked in at 1:46.88 to become the new record-holder in the 200 Fly. Freshman Brandon Stride finished the 200 Breast in 2:00.59 to break the freshman record.
In the preliminary heat, freshman Tristan Lin tied the freshman record in the 200 IM only to break it in the finals with a time of 1:49.50.
Lin offered his thoughts about his performance.
“I was really ecstatic with my swim. [Teammate] Matt McGough was right next to me the entire time, and we really pushed each other to swim as fast as we did,” said Lin. “The energy on the pool deck was absolutely amazing...This definitely boosts my confidence heading into the postseason. I feel like I can do it again or swim even faster.”
The 200 Medley Relay team of junior Noah Frassrand, senior Jasper Van Cauwelaert, freshman Spencer Ryan and freshman Steven Rua finished third to start the second day. Together, they finished in 1:36.17.
Five swimmers cracked the A final of the 100 Fly. Vitek took second with junior Nat Davenport finishing right behind with a time of 48.69. Lin came in at fifth, and senior Matthew Garza and junior Dillon De Priest placed eighth and ninth.
Coming in at third place in the 400 IM, junior CJ Arena punched in another B time for the team. Freshmen Brandon Stride and Alec Caswell followed right behind with fourth and fifth place finishes.
The final day of competition began with the 1650 Free. All four Hopkins swimmers in the event met the B time standards. Sophomore Mitchell Simmons came just short of first with a time of 16:00.97.
The standout Lin took down another freshman record, coming in at 2:00.34 in the 200 Breast. The future of Hopkins swimming looks bright after multiple freshmen broke records in a single weekend.
Capping off a successful weekend, Lin, along with McGough, Vitek and Davenport, formed the second place 400 Free Relay squad. Their time of 3:01.47 met yet another B standard.
The men’s team came out of the invitational with nine B times and four different records broken. As both teams are about a month away from Nationals, the chances of postseason success seem high at the moment.
Lin shared his thoughts about what it will take to continue to grow and peak in the final meet of the season.
“The team will get straight back into heavy training and start tapering about two weeks before the meet. [From there] we’ll stop lifting and slowly start reducing our time in the pool to ensure we get enough time for our bodies to recover,” said Lin. “Everybody will adjust the training to fit [his] own needs with Coach Scott [Armstrong] guiding us.”
The Blue Jays will compete in one last meet before Nationals at home for their own invitational on Feb. 22.
Following that event, the NCAA Championships will begin on March 18 and finish on March 21. The event will take place in Greensboro, NC.