Women’s Swimming and Diving Takes Second at Fredonia Invitational


Senior Chris Ayoub races during a meet this season. The swimming and diving team concluded its 2014 competition at the Fredonia Invitational last weekend.

Harrison Wollman

The swimming and diving team saw success at the Fredonia Invitational competition after making the long trek to upstate New York last weekend, with the Yeowomen taking second and the Yeomen securing fifth of eight competing teams.

On the women’s side, sophomore Nora Cooper, junior Samma Regan and sophomore Maddie Prangley swept the 200-meter freestyle race, claiming first, second and third place respectively. In the event, Cooper’s time of 1 minute, 55.87 seconds broke Regan’s previous school record. Less than a second behind Cooper, Regan also broke her own record coming in at 1 minute, 56.3 seconds. Sophomore Vera Hutchinson also bolstered the Yeowomen’s points when she placed first in the 100-meter butterfly.

Reflecting on the weekend, Regan cited her race as one of the moments that was key to Oberlin’s success.

“The 200 freestyle really stood out for me,” said Regan. “Nora Cooper broke my old record, which was amazing. Also, we had a 1–2–3 finish of Nora, then me, then Maddie Prangley, which was one of the most exciting races I’ve ever been in.”

On the men’s side, senior Chris McLauchlan spearheaded the Yeomen’s efforts in the one-meter diving events, placing third with 460.40 points. Sophomore Nils Gudbranson also finished in a strong fourth in the 50-yard free with a time of 22.16.

Head Coach Andrew Brabson said that the lack of roster depth often creates a challenge against larger teams, and that given a team of just 11 members, the Yeomen performed exceptionally well.

“We give up a lot of points simply because we cannot fill events the same way the larger teams can,” said Brabson. “With how small the men’s team is, I was very impressed that we were able to finish fifth out of eight teams at the invite.”

The Fredonia Invitational served as the halfway mark in a season that starts in October and continues all the way into late February, with the potential for the team to compete in March depending on its success. With the longest season of any Oberlin sports team, Regan admitted that while the lengthy season can definitely prove trying at times, it is something that the team embraces.

“It’s really easy to get broken down and to lose sight of your goals, but the greatest thing about our team is that we’re all so passionate about the sport that we understand our roles on the team and as students,” said Regan. “I honestly don’t know how we do it, but it’s kind of like a tunnel vision of setting your goals and working hard every day.”

With a strong mix of senior leadership and young talent, the swimming and diving team has its eyes set on late-season success. Prangley said that she believes that both teams are more than capable of meeting their goals.

“I definitely think that we are going to do better than we did at conference last year,” said Prangley. “The places that we are at right now, the times people are swimming, are just way better than they were last year.”

Coach Brabson echoed Prangley’s optimistic attitude about the remainder of the season.

“We certainly have some individuals who are capable of qualifying for the NCAA D-III Championships in March,” he said.

Looking ahead, the swimming and diving team now has time to rest during the holiday season before returning to campus to face conference foe Allegheny College on Saturday, Jan. 10 at Carr Pool.