Yeomen, Yeowomen Split Back-to-Back Meets

Abby Weiss

The swimming and diving team opened its North Coast Athletic Conference play against the College of Wooster Fighting Scots on Saturday, Nov. 1 with tough losses on both the men’s and women’s sides, falling 166–93 and 153–135 respectively. The dual losses move the team to a 1–1 overall record.

Preceding Saturday’s contest against the Fighting Scots, the Yeomen and Yeowomen took on the Hiram College Terriers at home on Friday night. Oberlin easily moved past Hiram with a 144–71 victory on the women’s side and a 133–84 sweep on the men’s side. However, the encouraging win over Hiram notwithstanding, sophomore Nils Gudbranson said the team was anxious going into Saturday’s event.

“Going into [the] Wooster meet, people were confident, but also worried because we had just had a meet the night before,” said Gudbranson. “The team wasn’t feeling 100 percent, so there was a mixture of high intensity and anxiety.”

Led by sophomore Nora Cooper and junior Samma Regan, the Yeowomen swam hard against the Fighting Scots but ultimately came up short.

“We lost some close races early on, and I think that was a bit difficult,” said junior Olivia Degitz. Two of the Yeowomen’s losses came by mere fractions of a second.

Regan ended up on top in two individual contests against Wooster, finishing first in the 1,000-yard freestyle with a time of 11 minutes, 8.7 seconds and first in the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 2:30.94. Regan finished second in the women’s 50-yard freestyle, falling by only six-tenths of a second.

“Samma Regan is doing really well,” said junior Allison Susin. “Coming off an injury from last year, she is healthy again and is training really hard.”

Cooper had a successful day as well, coming in first in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 2:01.34 and finishing second in the 100-yard free, trailing Wooster by only .06 seconds yet again.

Sophomore Vera Hutchison also claimed two first-place finishes in the women’s 100- and 200-yard butterfly.

Despite the difficult losses, the team kept up its enthusiasm and valued its strong individual performances.

“The team made a big effort to rally and stay positive, and we were able to get the whole team together to cheer for a couple specific events where we had really big wins, and I think that that helped a lot,” said Degitz.

On the men’s side, senior Chris Ayoub and sophomore Jeremy Cooper led the team, with Ayoub claiming 21 points.

Along with Ayoub, senior Jack Redell and sophomores Liam Oznowich and Nils Gudbranson placed second in the 400- yard medley relay with a time of 3:51.08. Ayoub also claimed two other individual second-place finishes and ended with a first place win in the 400-yard individual medley, clocking a time of 4:30.06.

Cooper also made a splash with his performance, earning 18 points for the Yeomen by taking first in both the strenuous 1,000-yard freestyle and the 500-yard free.

“Jeremy Cooper is a stellar swimmer and is definitely someone to look out for. In the pool he is a total monster,” said Gudbranson.

All in all, Head Coach Andrew Brabson was pleased with the team’s efforts.

“We had a lot of strong swims this past weekend, including some lifetime bests and all-time Oberlin top-10 swims,” said Brabson. “As with any early season meet, it is a good opportunity to get back into racing and find aspects of race preparation and execution that can be fine-tuned in practice.”

Moving forward, the Yeomen and Yeowomen hope to continue to be competitive with other teams and improve throughout the season.

“One of our team goals is to move up in the conference at the end of the year,” said Degitz. “We have a big group of girls, so we are able to push each other in practice and train really hard, and that will definitely pay off for further dual meets and [in] conference.”

The two teams return home on Saturday, Nov. 8 to take on the Case Western Reserve University Spartans in another dual meet.