Women’s Swimming and Diving Breaks Oberlin Records in Season Closer


Courtesy of Rachael Andrews

Sophomore Jean-Paul Gilbert flips in the men’s diving competition at the North Coast Athletic Conference championships last weekend. The swimming and diving team concluded its regular season at the meet.

Harrison Wollman, Staff Writer

The North Coast Athletic Conference four-day championship meet proved historic for the women’s swimming and diving team when it broke Oberlin records with a fourth-place finish and a final tally of 913 points. The relay team of junior Samma Regan and sophomores Vera Hutchison, Nora Cooper and Maddie Prangley headlined the Yeowomen’s success in the 800-yard relay with a fourth-place finish of 7 minutes, 39.71 seconds. The speedy race, which the squad finished 10 seconds faster than the previously held school record, also qualified them for the NCAA B meet.

“The 800 freestyle relay, which qualified us for nationals, really stood out a lot for me,” Regan said. “We all just got up and just had a super fun time before and after the race.”

Much of the women’s swimming and diving team’s success has come from the leadership of Head Coach Andrew Brabson. In only his second year at Oberlin, Brabson made history by earning the NCAC Women’s Swim Coach of the Year title for the first time in Oberlin’s history over the weekend. Regan accredited Brabson’s recognition to his attention to individual swimmer’s talents.

“Andy really understood the idea of work ethic and really tapped into that,” she said. “He understood our strengths and played on that. He made us more competitive than we were in previous years.”

Regan, Cooper and Hutchison struck again, with junior Lauren Wong rounding out their 400- yard medley team, when they crushed the previous school record of 4:01.22 by touching in at 3:56.08. Regan and Cooper also broke school records in the 200- yard free, finishing within .24 seconds of one another at 1:53.86 and 1:53.62 respectively. Reflecting on the Yeowomen’s recent success, Cooper shared that the team’s mental resilience has had a direct correlation with results in the water.

“Prior to the meet, the women’s team had a meeting in which we outlined our goals for [the] conference [meet]. I think that helped in terms of preparing us well,” Cooper said.

The accolades continued into the final day of competition for Regan and Hutchison, when both made the cut for the NCAA B competition in their respective races. Hutchison took sixth place in the 200-yard butterfly while Regan beat out the competition for fifth in the 200-yard breaststroke.

On the men’s side, the Yeomen racked up 547 points to claim eighth place. All-American senior diver Chris McLauchlan clinched sixth place with a strong performance in the men’s three-meter event with 492.4 points. McLauchlan followed up with a sixth-place finish in the final. Sophomore Jeremy Cooper managed to earn a spot in Oberlin history as well, swimming the ninth-fastest 200-yard free in Oberlin history with a time of 1:45.96.

Brabson echoed Cooper’s remarks regarding his team’s tough mentality and cohesive dynamics.

“Our team came out with a great mindset and were certainly able to feed off of the energy and excitement,” he said.

The swimming and diving season concluded at the NCAC event for those who did not qualify for the NCAA B competition. The individuals who did make the cut will compete in the Fast Chance Invitational at Kenyon College this Saturday to bolster their chances of selection for nationals.