Women win season's final contest

To open the meet, Lisa Pritchard ’08, Jill Wyrick ’05, Piper Pettersen ’07 and Julie Kim ’08 won the 200-yard medley relay in 1:52.66. The “B” relay, comprised of tri-captain Michelle McCreary ’05, Hilary Stockbridge ’05, Gretchen Sisson ’06 and Alexis Johnston ’05 took third. The Jeff “C” relay of Natalie Dyer ’07, Suzie Luft ’08, Mia Anderson ’06 and Lisa Rubinger ’07 defeated two Pride relay teams to place fourth, just 1.5 seconds behind the “B” relay, a testament to the team’s depth.

Jasmina Cheung-Lau ’07 achieved the best 1000-yard freestyle time that the team has seen this season and one of the best in the history of Amherst women’s swimming, winning in 10:40.84. Tri-captain Katie Massopust ’05 called Cheung-Lau’s race the highlight of the meet: “It was an amazing swim and time,” she said. Versatile first-year Jennifer Lewkowitz placed third in the distance event.

First-year Brittany Sasser, who has twice earned ECAC Div. III Swimmer of the Week honors, handily won the 200-yard freestyle in 1:55.83, while senior sprinters Rebecca Stein and Liz Chiang finished one-two in the 50-yard freestyle. Kim led the 200-yard individual medley, with Stockbridge close behind in second place.

Kate Shaw ’05 won the one-meter diving event and Kristin Boyd ’05 placed fourth against Springfield’s unusually large squad of seven divers. Even with this competition, Shaw managed to complete an undefeated season on the one-meter board. Later in the meet, Shaw scored 266.25 points in three-meter diving to qualify for nationals. She was named ECAC Div. III Diver of the Week on Feb. 1 for her wins on both boards the previous weekend, and she continues to shine as she prepares to defend her NESCAC three-meter title.

Pettersen won the 100-yard butterfly in 59.80, with Lewkowitz finishing second in 1:02.13 and Stockbridge in fourth. Stein won the 100-yard freestyle in 53.93 while Wyrick took second in 56.10. Sasser gained her 15th individual victory of the season in the 100-yard backstroke, an impressive accomplishment for her first Amherst season. Chiang took second and McCreary came in fourth.

Cheung-Lau led a sweep of the 500-yard freestyle with a season-best 5:17.89, with Margaret Ramsey ’07 a close second in 5:18.60 and Kim in third. Meanwhile, Wyrick, Pettersen and Luft had the three fastest times, respectively, in the 100-yard breaststroke. Chiang, Sasser, Ramsey and Stein closed the meet with their 3:39.89 finish in the 400-yard freestyle relay.

“All in all we ended on a good note,” said Massopust. McCreary added, “The pressure was off, so we got a chance to swim some off events and just have fun in our last dual meet.”

The women now look to the NES- CAC Championships at Middlebury College on Feb. 18-20.

“If the work we have put in this year is any indication of championship potential, I think we are in a great position to have some amazing races [at NESCACs],” said McCreary.

Last season, Amherst finished third behind Williams and Middlebury Colleges. “This team has proven all season that we can swim with anyone; I have no doubt that in two weeks’ time, we will be ready to do so,” declared McCreary. After defeating the Panthers in their dual meet and giving the Ephs a close call, the Jeffs certainly have the potential to score very well at the conference championships.