Smith swimming and diving makes waves headed into final weeks

PHOTO COURTESY OF SMITHPIONEERS.COM

Smith’s swimming and diving team gave it their all at the Seven Sisters Championship.

Elizabeth Muirhead ’20 | Assistant Sports Editor

On Jan. 19 and 20, the Smith swimming and diving team competed in the Seven Sisters Championship along with Bryn Mawr, Mount Holyoke, Vassar and Wellesley. Smith finished third with 511 points, ahead of Mount Holyoke and Bryn Mawr and behind Wellesley and Vassar. Wellesley took first place with 1334.5 points, and Vassar ranked second with 983.5 points. Mount Holyoke snagged fourth with 483 points, while Bryn Mawr closed out the ladder with 295 points.

In the first event, the 200-yard freestyle relay, Smith’s fastest team—comprised of Charlotte Crandall ’21, Elisabeth Nesmith ’22, Tjasa Kmetec ’22 and Caleigh Johnson ’21—finished seventh out of 15 teams with a time of 1:48.39. Other highlights include Paula Torre-Nieto’s ’21 performance in the 50-yard freestyle, earning 13 points for Smith by finishing sixth out of 46 with a time of 25.93. Another stand-out from this event was Kmetec, who finished 21st with a time of 27.74. In the 400-yard medley relay, Smith’s fastest team—comprised of Katherine Anderson ’21, Junko Taniguchi ’21, Torre-Nieto and Nesmith—finished fifth out of 17 and earned 28 points for the team.

As for the diving team, captain Julianna Alvord ’19 had the highest scoring Smith dive in the one-meter and three-meter events. Alvord placed fourth out of 11 in the one-meter dive and third of nine in the three-meter, earning the team a total of 32 points between the two events.

This past weekend, Saturday, Feb. 9, Smith competed against Mount Holyoke and lost with a narrow 143-156 score. The team still managed to pick up a number of first-place finishes, with Crandall and Kmetec finishing first and second respectively in the 200-yard freestyle event. Additionally, Nesmith won the 100-yard breaststroke, and Desi Stoyanova ’19 won the 200-yard butterfly. Taniguchi placed first in the 200-yard breaststroke, while Crandall won the 500-yard freestyle. Even though they technically lost, the score reflects a tight competition and a lot for Smith to be proud of.

Captain Alvord commented: “The team has made incredible improvements throughout the entire season but most noticeably at the past two meets. At both, the majority of swimmers and divers had either [their] season[al] or lifetime best performances. [On Saturday], all four divers had lifetime best performances on both boards.”

As Smith’s swimming and diving team look towards the end of their season, they have a short break this coming weekend before the NEWMAC Championships start on Friday, Feb. 21, at WPI in Worcester, Mass. Alvord noted: “Taper began this past week and will continue up until the NEWMAC Championships in two weeks. At that meet, we’re looking forward to more best performances across the board.” Hopefully, the team will be able to continue their success at the NEWMAC Championships next week and improve upon an already impressive season.

SportsSophian Smith