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Wooster Swimming ends season with a splash

Cat Baker

Contributing Writer

Fighting Scots men’s and women’s swim and dive teams finished out their season with a splash this past weekend at the NCAC Championships. The women’s team finished in fourth place, with Kenyon, Denison and DePauw in first, second and third, respectively. The men’s team swam into fifth place, with Denison, Kenyon, DePauw and Wabash pulling ahead. They finished with a score of 1,013 points, breaking 1,000 points for the first time in school history. They also had five champion, or top nine, finishes. The women had six champion finishes for their part.

Kate Murphy ’21 speaks highly of the team’s success: “I believe that our entire team came together this past weekend in a way that helped each one of us succeed in our individual and team goals,” she stated. “There was a lot of great competition at Conference, but all of our hard work this past year has really paid off, and we should all be proud of our performances.”

The first champion finish of the meet was by Doak Schultz ’22 in the 100-individual medley. Not only did he earn seventh place, but his time of 53.97 is the second best in all of the program’s history. 

Craig Klumpp ’21 also swam to a second-place record for the program in the 200 breaststroke with a time of 2:09.74. 

The most remarkable race of the weekend was arguably the men’s 400 freestyle relay, with Cameron Gelwicks ’19, Trey Schopen ’20, Ryan Campbell ’19 and Garrett Layde ’19. Gelwicks was 38 hundredths of a second behind Wabash in the last 50 yards of the race and managed to hold Wabash swimmer Kyle Louks ’19 off to earn a third-place finish for the Scots by just 36 hundredths of a second. Gelwicks also finished first for Wooster in the 100 freestyle with a time of 46.53. Schopen, who already held the school record for the 200 butterfly, lowered it to an incredible 1:51.78 in the preliminaries. Robby Beal ’22 led the Scots in the 1,650 freestyle, earning 15th place with a time of 17:47.23. 

The top swimmers on the women’s side were undoubtedly Madison Whitman ’21 and Murphy. Whitman finished sixth in the 200 breaststroke and Murphy finished sixth in the 200 backstroke; both of which were the top placements for Wooster. If that isn’t impressive enough, both women swam times that put them among the all-time top five program times.

To add, Murphy’s performance was particularly notable: she placed eighth with a time of 2:08.81 in qualifiers, but swam a 2:07.44 in finals, moving her up to sixth place. Brooke Brown ’21 placed seventh in the 100-individual medley with a time of 1:01.91, just 30 hundredths of a second slower than the school record that she set at the NCAC Championships the year before. The women’s 400 freestyle relay of Emma Fikse ’19, Heidi Likins ’21, Nell Kackmarek ’20 and Murphy finished off the meet with a fifth-place finish and a time of 3:35.72. 

Other top-12 placements include Annabelle Hopkins ’19 who placed 11th in the 100 individual medley, Likins’ 12th place in the 100 individual medley (only 28 hundredths of a second behind Hopkins), Hannah Langer ’21 who placed 11th in the 200 backstroke, and Kalla Sturonas ’19 who finished 11th in the 200 butterfly. 

Likins had this to say about her performance: “[it] was definitely reflective of the season. I ended up with new personal best times in each of my events and that reflects the work I put in throughout the season.” 

The women’s swim and dive team finished fourth of nine at the NCAC Championships, and the men’s swim and dive team finished fifth of 10 at the NCAC Championships, respectively. 

(Photo from Wooster Athletics)

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