Waters, Lin Headline Invitational for Swimming & Diving

Oberlin’s swimming and diving teams brought home brag-worthy achievements after their three-day Fredonia Invitational meet, with 83 season-best swims, 21 career-best times, and seven swims making it onto the Oberlin All-Time Swims list. Encompassing 386 points for the men’s team and 377 points for the women over the course of the meet, the Yeomen placed fourth in the meet and the Yeowomen placed fifth.

“I was very proud of the way the team competed this past weekend,” Aquatics Director and Head Swimming and Diving Coach Andrew Brabson said. “We had a large number of lifetime bests, all-time top 10 performances, and had a 99 percent success rate for achieving season bests.”

At the top of the scoreboard for the men’s 200-yard breaststroke was sophomore Michael Lin, who finished in first with a wall touch at the 2:07.36 mark. His swim in this final, which ended with him ahead of the nearest competition by more than two seconds, was the second-fastest in Oberlin history. The fastest swim — also set by Lin — was just a second faster. Sophomore Kristoph Naggert found success in the same event as well, coming in fifth in the final with a 2:13.19 time — earning him seventh place on the All-Time Swims list.

The Yeomen also snagged fourth place in the 400-yard freestyle relay by trimming off a whopping 12.49 seconds off their preliminary time, thanks to the combined efforts of Lin, sophomores Jack McKeown and Matthew Berry, and first-year Farzad Sarkari.

“The team competed really well, and this meet was a really nice way to see all of our hard work pay off,” sophomore swimmer Alex Grande said. “Now we all just have to focus on working even harder so we can see even bigger time drops.”

On the Yeowomen’s end, first-year phenom Tesla Waters raised excitement with a fourth-fastest swim in school history during the 100-yard freestyle preliminaries. Her finals performance clinched the second-place spot on the scoreboard with a 54.14 time. In the same event, sophomores Sarah Dalgleish and Alex Grande snagged 14th and 15th, respectively, earning the team a combined 22 points. The three freestyle swimmers later went on to compete in the 400-freestyle event with the addition of first-year Molly Marshall. The quartet landed fifth place with a time more than 11 seconds faster than their preliminary swim.

The sprinters weren’t the only ones who saw success. In her first time competing the event this season, sophomore Devyn Malouf swam the 1650-yard freestyle in 19:07.26, finishing in fifth place.

“We did really well standings-wise, for only having eight women and nine men swimming and one woman diving,” junior swimmer Rachel Poyle said. “We’re making quite an impact, despite having such a small team.”

Although the swimming and diving teams fought the uphill battle of not having a home swimming pool all season as Philips gym pool renovations continue, it has not stopped them from smashing records. Most notably, Lin earned North Coast Athletic Conference swimmer of the week after the team’s Oct. 28 meet against the College of Wooster Fighting Scots, and Waters has already put her name in the school record books.

Brabson has been impressed with Waters’ hot start to her first-year campaign.

“[Waters] has had some excellent swims early on this season,” he said. “She has already set a school record in the 100 Individual Medley and been very close in a few other events. I can’t wait to see how [she’ll] respond to an increased training regimen in the second half of the season. We will definitely be focused on setting some additional school records, but ultimately, [we] will be looking for further improvement on a great start to her collegiate career.”

The swimming and diving teams will be resuming their season when they face off against rivals Kenyon College Lords and Ladies Jan. 13 in a competitive NCAC meet.