Yeowomen Beat Bears, Lin Notches Top-10 Finish


Photo Courtesy of OC Athletics

First-year Michael Lin swims the butterfly leg of the 200-yard individual medley. Lin logged one of the top-10 fastest times in school history with his 1 minute, 59.73 second finish in Oberlin’s meet against the Ohio Northern University Polar Bears last Saturday.

Alex McNicoll

In a milestone day for several Oberlin swimmers and divers at Ohio Northern University last Saturday, the Yeowomen defeated the Polar Bears 130–100, while the Yeomen fell 149–77. Despite splitting the meet, Head Coach Andrew Brabson said he was encouraged by the progression he saw from both the men’s and women’s teams.

“Overall, I was really pleased with how the teams did,” Brabson said. “We had a lot of season bests, a lot of improvement with some of the technical aspects we’re working on. So to see those implemented into the meet was great.”

On the women’s side, senior swimmer Maddie Prangley had a career race that earned her North Coast Athletic Conference Swimmer of the Week honors. Logging a total of 29 points in the 130–100 victory, Prangley posted winning times in three different events. Her effort was highlighted by a 5 minute, 12.27 second finish in the 500-yard freestyle, which moved her into 18th place nationally and ninth in the NCAC. The Fairfield, CT, native also won the 200-free in a time of 2:00.45 while guiding the 200-free relay to a first place finish at 1:46.06.

Leading the Yeomen’s successes was first-year swimmer Michael Lin who had several personal bests at the meet, making school history in two different events. His time of 1:59.73 in the 200-yard individual medley and his time of 55.40 in the 100-yard backstroke placed him in Oberlin’s top-10 all-time finishes in his respective events.

The divers also saw success Saturday, as first-year Katja Zoner and senior diver Jean-Paul Gilbert both took home first-place honors in the 1-meter and 3-meter dives. While Gilbert dove unopposed, Zoner’s 200.78 point and 196.80 point finishes bested both of the Polar Bears’ divers.

“It was a good week to throw in some new dives with a higher degree of difficulty,” Zoner said. “That past week I had learned back one-and-a-halves on the one meter and front two-and-a-halves on the three meter, so I put both of those in the meet.”

This list of successes is not unfamiliar to Brabson. In his four years as head coach, the swimming and diving teams have broken 22 school records while leading the Yeowomen to a school-best fourth-place finish in the NCAC Championship. These achievements have not gone unnoticed — he also won the NCAC Women’s Swimming Coach of the Year Award in 2015. Despite the accolades, Brabson said he stays focused on day-to-day improvements.

“It’s all about building from each performance,” he said. “The goal for this week is to really keep that workload — keep working hard in the weight room and the pool.”

As the teams prepare to finish the first half of their season, the Yeomen and Yeowomen will set their sights on the Fredonia Invitational, taking place Dec. 2–4 in Fredonia, NY. The event marks Oberlin’s first invitational of the season in preparation for the NCAC Championship in February.

Brabson said he believes the teams must continue to build on their current performances in order to have success.

“This team is very hard-working, and I’ve seen a lot of their hard work already paying off,” Brabson said. “The goal is to build from that, keep moving forward, keep that positive momentum going and to do our first real conference-type test in our mid-season invite.”

Oberlin will take to the pool in a key NCAC test tomorrow versus the Wittenberg University Tigers in Springfield, Ohio.