First-Years Make Big Splash in NCAC Championships

Sarah Orbuch, Staff Writer

The Yeomen and Yeowomen swimmers concluded their impressive season with record-breaking performances at the North Coast Athletic Conference swimming and diving championships last week.

The first record-setting time came from first-years Jillian Sarazen, Olivia Degitz, Deirdre Haren and Samma Regan in the 200-yard freestyle relay. That same night, Sarazen, sophomore Simone Christen and first-years Lauren Wong and Mia Wallace set the record in the 400-yard medley relay.

The next day, Wong, Haren, Sarazen and Degitz continued their domination in the 200-meter medley relay. On the final day of competition Regan broke the record in the 200-meter breaststroke while fellow first-year Marshall Waller clocked in at 1 minute 54 seconds in the 200-meter backstroke, the third-fastest time in school history. Sophomore diver Chris McLauchlan took second place in the 3-meter dive and qualified for the NCAA diving championships.

“The team swam really well at [the] conference,” senior Alyssa Houser said. “We had some amazing and much-deserved swims. I can’t wait to see the team continue to improve, win more dual meets and score higher at [the] conference. This season was different from my other seasons because the team was so young, but they definitely brought a lot of enthusiasm and passion for the sport and team from the very beginning.”

Head Coach Mark Fino agreed. “I think we did well,” he said, “because we are so young, we had moments where we had to grow throughout the meet and learn from experiences, and we did. We swam fast, we got better and we set school records. All in all, we did well.”

“Our two seniors were phenomenal,” Fino added. “They brought a passion and love for Oberlin swimming and for what we do. At the conference meet, their attitudes, approach to races and response to their swims were contagious and rubbed off on all the freshmen. Leadership is defined by the way you act and respond to different circumstances and I could not have had two better people to lead a young, freshman-laden team.”

While their races at NCAC were impressive, the team’s biggest victory was in a combined meet against The College of Wooster. The Yeowomen went 1–2 in the 200-yard free, 1–2–3 in the 200-yard breast and won both the 400-yard medley relay and the 400-yard free relay. Sophomore Simone Christen turned in an impressive race to win the 200-yard butterfly. Fellow sophomore Chris Ayoub won the 1,000- and 500-yard free, while Waller won the 200-yard back. Sophomore divers Adrian Ziaggi and Chris McLaughlan won their diving events as well.

“This was a historic win for Oberlin,” Houser said. “The atmosphere on deck was amazing. Everyone was so pumped, and it showed in our races.”

This has been quite a sensational season for the Yeomen and Yeowomen. The team put up some impressive wins and tough fights against conference foes, working together as one unit.

“My favorite part of this team is our sense of family. I’m sure from the outside we look like a cult, but in reality we’re all just really close and we’re doing the best we can to support each other,” Christen said. “We had a few close meets where we lost by small margins, so next year I’m hoping we can turn those Ls into Ws.”

The Yeomen and Yeowomen showed that, with their talented underclassmen, they will be a force to be reckoned with in the coming years.