The men’s and women’s swimming teams competed against the Carnegie Mellon Tartans this weekend.
The women’s team was ranked fourth heading into this competition while the men were ranked fifth.
Both teams were facing top-15 Carnegie Mellon teams. Although they were up against tough competition, both teams pulled out the win in the end.
Senior Kiki Petersen discussed the team’s season so far.
“I believe our team has had a lot of success this year because we have been focusing on supporting each other’s mental and emotional wellbeing in addition to challenging each other to push our physical limits in the pool,” she said.
Petersen also explained how the team’s ranking affects their performance.
“I think being recognized as a top-10 team is rewarding because it validates how hard we have been working, but it also serves as motivation to prepare even more so we can perform at the NCAAs.”
For the women’s team, the day started with commanding victory.
In the 200-yard medley relay, Hopkins quartets took the top three spots. Sophomore Sydney Okubo, senior Sonia Lin, sophomore Rebecca Ssengonzi and Petersen made up the first-place team.
They finished with a total time of 1:46.81.
Petersen elaborated on her victory.
“When I’m racing, I focus on the technique I’ve been working on in practice,” she said. “I also focus on racing, and beating, the person next to me. It was gratifying to win, especially when we got the pool record in the 200 free relay, because is showed how hard our work is paying off.”
She added that the win was especially sweet for the seniors on the team.
“For our seniors, it was nice to end the last dual meet of our careers with a win!”
The next women’s event was the 1000-yard freestyle. Freshman Kate Overbey got the victory for the Blue Jays in this event, finishing in 10:41.37.
This was 2.32 seconds ahead of the Tartans’ top finisher, who came in second place in the event.
The 200-yard freestyle was yet another victory for the Blue Jays.
Another freshman, this time Renee Liu, took first place in the event. She finished with a time of 1:55.33. In second place was junior Carmela Irato with a time of 1:57.53.
At this point, it seemed like Hopkins was running away with the match. But Carnegie Mellon showed the Blue Jays why they are a ranked team with a spirited comeback.
Three Tartans finished before a Hopkins swimmer did. Freshman Chase Lahr was the top finisher for the Blue Jays with a time of 1:00.03, 0.06 seconds behind the third-place swimmer.
Senior Michelle Wang won the 100-yard breaststroke event with a time of 1:08.21.
Three Blue Jays took the top spots in the 200-yard butterfly, including first-place finisher freshman Emerson Davis.
Junior Mikayla Bisignani won the 50-yard freestyle as well.
Once again, it seemed like the Blue Jays were going to easily take the victory. But once again, the Tartans fought back.
Carnegie Mellon took the win on the next two events. But the run was short-lived, and after that, the Blue Jays won every following event. The team came away with 11 wins and a final score of 154-108.
The men’s team did not see quite the same immediate success.
In their first event — the 200-yard medley relay — the Tartans took first place. A team of sophomores Dylan Wachenfeld, Maxwell Chen, Jeffrey Vitek and junior Nat Davenport came in second place with a time of 1:32.65, 0.57 seconds behind the first-place team.
In the 1000-yard freestyle, the Tartans once again bested Hopkins.
It took until the third event, the 200-yard freestyle, for the Blue Jays to get a win.
Sophomore Noah Corbitt was victorious in the race, finishing in 1:40.92.
The very next event, Carnegie Mellon won again. It seemed like Hopkins was slowly sliding to a loss. But Chen won the 100-yard breaststroke in 55.66 to begin the Blue Jays’ comeback.
Vitek won the 200-yard butterfly and Davenport won the 50-yard freestyle. Momentum had shifted in the Blue Jays’ favor.
In the 100-yard freestyle, the top three finishers were all Tartans.
Davenport managed to sneak into fourth place, but the Blue Jays’ attempts to narrow the lead were once again put on hold. But the Blue Jays managed to win the next five events in a row.
Wachenfeld, freshman Tristan Lin, Corbitt, Vitek and junior Matt McGough each won a race.
Carnegie Mellon won the last event of the day, but their effort was in vain. Hopkins won by a score of 135-127.
Petersen looked forward to the rest of the semester for the team.
“We are adjusting our practices to fit between classes — otherwise, nothing much is changing,” she said.
She added that in the upcoming season, the swim team will focus some of their energy on balancing classes and their athletic schedules.
“We have a taper period before NCAAs so we can rest before the competition. In general, I would say the team is working on time management so we can focus on swimming and classes at the same time,” Petersen said.