Wooster's Women Clinch Victory in Final Event; Scots' Men Fall to Blue Streaks

Annabelle Hopkins
Annabelle Hopkins
Burke Poeting
Burke Poeting

WOOSTER, Ohio – The College of Wooster women's swimming and diving team edged out John Carroll University 113.5-109.5 in an exciting dual meet on Friday evening at Timken Natatorium, while the Blue Streaks' 32nd-ranked team in CollegeSwimming.com's Div. III dual-meet rankings topped the 45th-ranked Fighting Scots 146-95.

While John Carroll captured first-place in the 200 freestyle at 1:42.68, Wooster's quartets of senior Emma Fikse, sophomore Kate Murphy, senior Annabelle Hopkins, and sophomore Brooke Brown placed second at 1:43.85, while first-year Mia Chen, sophomore Hannah Langer, senior Kalla Sturonas, and junior Nell Kacmarek teamed up to turn in a 1:46.88, just better than John Carroll's "B" relay time of 1:47.51. Had the Blue Streaks taken second-place, John Carroll would've won the dual, and the two teams would've tied if Wooster finished second with John Carroll picking up the third-place points.

At the onset of the meet, Wooster's women, ranked 47th in dual meets by CollegeSwimming.com, appeared to be in control, thanks to a one-two finish in the 200 medley relay. In there on the first-place finish was Sturonas, who swam the senior night butterfly leg of the Scots' winning 1:52.08 effort that was rounded out by Murphy, first-year Molly Likins, and Brown.

The string of first-place showings continued in the early freestyle events where Fikse was first to the finish in the 1,000 at 11:04.89, and Kacmarek did likewise in the 200 with a 2:02.21. Later, Fikse and Kacmarek doubled up on blue-ribbon efforts, thanks to a 55.37 by Fikse in the 100 freestyle and a 5:27.35 by Kacmarek in the 500 freestyle, with Kacmarek's clip besting the field by nearly six ticks on the stopwatch.

Wooster's backstrokers dominated in the 100-yard race with Langer's 1:01.36 edging out Murphy by several whiskers. Murphy backed up the winning time with a 1:01.57.

On the men's side, senior Burke Poeting stepped up in the 50 freestyle and was first to the wall at 22.21, which was just a shade above his season-best effort of 22.01. The sprinter capped a memorable night and helped set the tone for the winning 200 freestyle relay quartet with a 22.58 leadoff split. When all was said and done, the all-senior quartet of Poeting, Garrett Layde, Adam Chalek, and Ryan Campbell posted a time of 1:29.04, just a shade better than JCU's 1:29.22.

In individual events, senior Cameron Gelwicks turned in the winning time of 1:44.10 in the 200 freestyle, while junior Trey Schopen logged Wooster's other first-place effort with a 51.95 in the 100 butterfly.

Other noteworthy performances centered around first-year Eric Jacques in the diving well. The rookie surpassed 200 points for the first time on each board in six-dive competitions. Jacques tallied 216.45 points on the one-meter board and was nearly on par with 212.50 on the three-meter board.

Next, Wooster will compete in a non-traveling meet against Ohio Wesleyan University on Saturday. Due to the weather forecast, each team will complete its port of the meet at its home natatorium, and results will be posted once completely compiled and scored.