At Wooster Invitational, Swim Team Earns Superb Results and Breaks Records

Nick Rosano, Staff Writer

The Oberlin swim teams contin- ued their strong start to the season, exceeding the teams’ expectations by swimming to respectable finishes at the Wooster Invitational from Dec. 3-5. The Yeowomen, spurred on by record-breaking performances, placed in fourth out of a field of 10 with a total of 881.50 points — their best finish ever at the Wooster Invitational.

The men’s team finished sixth out of 10 with a total of 717 points, a solid performance given the team’s lack of numbers compared to its competitors. Overall, this gave the teams a combined total of 1,598.50 points, good for seventh overall.

First-year Grace Aheron stood out for the Yeowomen, breaking three school records, the first in the 200-yard IM with a time of 2:09.04, and the second record falling thanks to a 3:39.80 performance in the 400-yard IM.

The last record to fall on the weekend was broken in particularly stunning fashion, with Aheron finishing the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 2:04.10 — not only setting a school record, but also a Wooster Invitational record. Her time was also the fastest time in the nation for this event so far this season, and it allowed her to make the automatic cut for the nationals in that event.

The Yeowomen relay teams also stood out, with senior Shannon Gallagher, first-year Danica Watson, sophomore Flora Samis and junior Sara Kadi setting a new Oberlin record in the 200-yard free relay with a time of 1:40.69. Kadi, Watson, Aheron and senior Laura Fries combined to set a new school record in the 800-yard free relay with a time of 8:01.09. On the final day of the meet, Aheron, Samis, Gallagher and Kadi finished the 400-yard free relay in 3:39.80, good for second overall and a new school record.

For the Yeomen, strong performances from junior Jon Vimr and sophomore Review sports editor Dimitri Macris helped the team finish strong; sophomore Nick Lashway and first-year James Foust also put in solid performances. Vimr finished 10th in the 500-yard free finals, coming in at 4:55.09, and finished fourth in the 200-yard free with a time of 1:45.87.

Meanwhile, Macris finished the 500 free in 4:54.16, good for seventh in the preliminaries, and followed that performance up with a finish of 17:14.61 in the 1,650-yard free, putting him in eighth place. The team of Lashway, Macris, Foust and Vimr produced a strong performance in the 800-yard free relay, finishing in fourth place with a time of 7:11.53.

Senior captain Dan Holm was extremely pleased with the effort he saw from his teammates, and especially the spirit the team displayed: “One of the best qualities of our team is our support for each other: No matter the event, no matter the swimmer, there would be a group of Oberlin swimmers behind the lane cheering their teammates on. It was a level of support that you simply didn’t see from the other teams.”

Although Holm acknowledged there was some room for improvement, especially in working out small errors, he highlighted the astute swimming of both teams as a critical factor in their strong performances.

“In the water, we swam competitively, but more important, we swam intelligently, especially in our longer events,” said Holm. “In countless races, an Oberlin swimmer would be behind halfway into the event, but be able to pull out ahead in the end. It’s a successful combination of training, smarts and guts that allows a swimmer to do that, and Oberlin proved that we have all those in spades.”

The results also left Head Coach Mark Fino feeling very positive about the rest of the season: “The team did very well. It was nice to end the semester on a positive as we send them home for a couple of weeks. I hope they are able to use this energy and momentum to carry them through the training at home.”

After the holidays, the team will go on its annual training trip to Key Largo, FL before competing at the Kenyon Invitational on Jan. 15 and 22.