Swim and Dive Teams Off to Strong Start

Despite the cancellation of their annual training trip to Puerto Rico, the women’s and men’s swim and dive team has been hard at work over interterm, facing off against Union College, Williams, Connecticut College, and Springfield College.

Amherst swim and dive has enjoyed a successful start to the 2021-22 season.

Women’s Swim and Dive

Union College

The women’s swim and dive team traded bubbly and confetti for bubbles and chlorine this New Year, ringing it in style in Pratt Pool during the first meet of 2022. Facing off against Union College on Jan. 1, the Mammoths dominated in their first meet in almost a month, finishing with a final score of 145-102 and sweeping five separate events. Cora Spelke ’25, Ali LaCroix ’25, Grace Walker ’24, and captain Marie Fagan ’22 set the tone for the meet, snagging first place in the 200-yard medley relay and paving the way for two other Amherst teams to take second and third place in the event. Megan Lee ’25 demonstrated her endurance with her first-place time of 10:42.66 in the 1,000-yard freestyle, with fellow first-years Jenn Adams ’25 and Petra Peitz-Diaz ’25 following closely behind her. Lauren Eng ’24 logged her first collegiate time in the 200 free and took first place, followed by Fagan and Grace Tarantola ’23. LaCroix touched the wall first in the 200-yard breaststroke, with Katie Hoffman ’25 and Alana Bailey ’23 finishing soon after her. Adams led the way for the fifth Amherst sweep of the day, placing first in the 100 free, with Margaret McNamara ’23 and captain Caroline Needell ’22 in second and third, respectively. Sabrina Comess ’24 and Sophie Kubik ’23 both got their first wins of the season, and Eng, Lee, and Jessica Gordon ’23 won two individual races each to complete the Mammoths’ stellar team performance.

Williams

On Jan. 8, the Mammoths headed to Williamstown for the rivalry dual meet against Williams. First-year Sydney Bluestein ’25 made quite the splash — or quite the opposite, if we’re being technical — with her win on the 3-meter board and second place finish on the 1-meter. Teammate Hannah Karlin ’22 secured first place in the 1-meter event and third place in the 3-meter. Eng finished first in the 50-yard freestyle, with second place going to Walker. While the Mammoths put up a fight, the battle was ultimately lost, and the meet ended 103-196 in favor of the No. 13-ranked Ephs.

Conn College

Not to be deterred, Amherst bounced back from the tough loss in their home meet against Connecticut College on Jan. 22. Karlin dominated in both the 1-meter and 3-meter competitions, with Bluestein and junior Hannah Colaizzo ’23 taking second and third place, respectively, in both. Hoffman secured the top spot in the 100 breast, and LaCroix placed first in the 200 breast. Lee earned first place in both the 1,650-yard freestyle and the 100-yard medley, with LaCroix placing second and Hoffman third. LaCroix then went on to join Eng, Fagan, and Tarantola in the 200-yard medley relay, and secured the top spot for the Mammoths at 1:49.55. Tarantola also won the 200-yard backstroke, while Gordon was first to the wall in the 500-yard freestyle. Fagan also racked up points for the Mammoths with her win in the 100-yard fly. The meet was a great way to celebrate the team’s four seniors — Karlin, Fagan, Needell, and captain Julia Merrill ’22 — with the 192-106 win bringing their season record to 5-1.

Springfield College

Amherst swim and dive headed to Springfield College on Jan. 30 for their last dual meet of the season. The meet was especially exciting for the women’s diving team, as performances by Karlin and Bluestein qualified them for this year’s NCAA Diving Regionals on the 1-meter board. Tarantola, LaCroix, Fagan, and Walker set the tone for the meet with their win in the 200 medley relay. Fagan went on to win two individual races: the 100-yard freestyle and the 200-yard butterfly. LaCroix once again dominated in her events, winning both the 100 and 200-yard breaststroke. Gordon took first place in both the 200 and 500-yard freestyle, Lee racked up another first place for her team in the 400-yard medley, and Hoffman led a Mammoths sweep of the 100-yard butterfly. With the win of 178-105, Amherst women’s swim and dive is now ranked 21st in the nation.

The women’s team will be heading to NESCACs on Feb. 10, hosted at Colby College. Speaking about the upcoming meet, Hoffman told The Student, “I have never seen a group more dedicated and positive than the women’s [swim and dive] team, and we are all excited to compete next weekend after all the hard work we’ve put in over interterm.” The recent return of the rest of the student body and the subsequent spike in Covid cases unfortunately means a few of the team’s members will not be able to compete; however, “the women’s team is staying safe, keeping spirits high, and preparing both mentally and physically for next weekend,” said Hoffman. The team remains excited to see their hard work pay off and to compete together one final time this season.

Men’s Swim and Dive

Union College

Men’s swim and dive also won their dual meet against Union College; like the women’s team, they seemed to be abiding by the idea that all good things come in threes, taking the top three places in six of their events. The Mammoths started off by sweeping the first three spots in the 200-yard medley relay, led by the winning quartet of Andrew Yuen ’25, Gary Sun ’22, Nolan Scanlan ’24, and Christian Moy ’23. Yuen then went on to win the 100-yard backstroke, leading an Amherst sweep with sophomore Justin Papagelis ’24 and sophomore Jeff Gerber ’24 pulling in behind him. Gabriele Lunardi ’25 set a personal record with his first-place time of 9:55.81 in the 1,000-yard freestyle, and Will Taylor ’24 touched the wall in second place just a few seconds later. Amherst first-years dominated in the 200-yard free, with Tor Metelmann ’25 and Andrew Bernstein ’25 finishing first and second place, respectively. The Mammoths also took the top three places in the 100-yard breaststroke, thanks to captain Malcolm Scannell ’22 with his best time of the season at 58.76, sophomore Liam Loveless ’24, and first-year Chris Halada ’25. In the 200-yard breaststroke, Sun led yet another sweep, followed by Andy Ni ’24 and Scannell. Gerber collected first place in the 100-yard fly with junior Mitchell Mortenson ’23 and Scanlan snagging the following two spots. Classmates — and roommates — Yuen and Metelmann had an exceptionally good meet against the Dutchmen, with the former winning one individual event and two relays and the latter winning two individual events. The top performances were so numerous here — the Mammoths won every single event at the meet — that we can’t even note them all. The Mammoths’ dominating performance led to their triumph by a final score of 149-97.

Williams

The men’s team took their first loss of the season on Jan. 8 against Little Three rival Williams. Despite the final score, the Mammoths found some success with three individual wins. It started with captain Scott Romeyn ’22, who took first place in the 50-yard freestyle. Metelmann won the 200-yard breaststroke, and Lunardi placed first in the 500-yard free. Romeyn, along with Tyler Knightly ’24, Papagelis, and Taylor, finished just two seconds behind Williams in the 400-yard freestyle relay. The meet ended with a final score of 101-186 in favor of the Ephs.

Conn College

To kick off the Jan. 22 Senior Day meet against Conn College, Romeyn, Sun, Kevin Ma ’23, and Kenneth Woodsum ’24 finished first in the 200-yard medley relay. Romeyn then went on to win both the 100 and 200 yard free, as well as the 200-yard free relay alongside Ma, Taylor, and Moy. Lunardi demonstrated his versatility by securing wins in both the 500-yard free and 200-yard fly. Yuen won the 100-yard backstroke and Loveless took the win in the 100-yard breaststroke. Metelmann finished first in the 200-yard breaststroke, and his time of 53.07 in the 100-yard medley broke the pool record previously set by Tristan So ’21 in 2020 by one one-hundredth of a second.

The men’s team is currently without their team’s lone diver, who is spending the spring abroad, meaning the team headed into the dual meet already down 26 points. First-years Yuen and Metelmann spoke on the team’s performance against the Camels, with Yuen noting that “[Conn College] had some fast guys and some increased depth, especially this year, and we were coming off the peak of our training in season.” According to Metelmann, “it’s easy to get beat up and lose the intensity you need to race well, especially when you’re already down in points.” However, Amherst proved to be up to the challenge and did not let earlier losses in the season derail their confidence. “We pulled out a bunch of really great performances and got the energy up. I think we also had a great mentality of doing it for our seniors and pushing through,” said Metelmann. The win highlighted the excellence and determination with which Amherst men’s swim has raced all season, and paid tribute to the team’s five seniors: Romeyn, Scannell, Peter Baird ’22, Jack Dengler ’22, and Austin Lee ’22.

Springfield College

After their meet against MIT on Jan. 29 was also canceled due to the nor'easter that hit the Pioneer Valley, the team took on Springfield College the next day. On the short trip down to Springfield, the Mammoths again demonstrated their speed, notching a dominating win of 162-118 over the Pride. The team started off the meet strong with a first-place finish by Ma, Sun, Woodsum, and Romeyn in the 200-yard medley relay. Romeyn also took first place in both the 100 and 200-yard freestyle races, with the Mammoths sweeping the 100 free. Woodsum found two more individual wins in both the 100-yard backstroke and butterfly. Knightly won the 400-yard individual medley, and Metelmann racked up another 100-yard breaststroke win, leading an Amherst sweep in the event. Fighting to clinch the win early on, Ma powered his way to a victory in the 50-yard freestyle with Gerber securing second, the two of them clocking times of 21.89 and 22.57, respectively. The 200-yard backstroke brought a collegiate victory for Dengler, as he went out with a bang — claiming his first-ever gold in 2:00.45. Sophomores Ni and Loveless also swept the first two places in the 200-yard breaststroke, with Ni taking his first collegiate win in 2:14.75.

The men’s team will follow the women’s team to NESCACs, also held at Colby College, a week later than their counterparts, on Feb. 17.