Women’s swimming dives into second half of season: Lady Bullets train for continued success on ten day trip to Barbados over winter break
By Elizabeth Hilfrank, Staff Writer
As women’s swimming enters the second half of its season, the lady Bullets reflect on the season and look forward to what is next.
Winning six of their seven meets, the women have been strong since November. At their home Gettysburg Invitational, the Bullets won first place out of five teams with a total of 919.5 points. The women racked up two first-place finishes accompanied by seven runner-up performances.
Gettysburg did not lose motivation over winter break, coming back early to spend ten days training in Barbados. Despite a 24-hour delay during their trip home, due to a missed connecting flight in Miami, FL, the athletes felt worked and successful in their practices.
“Although we ran into a few obstacles on our way back from our training trip, we as a team took a lot away from the experience,” said junior Caroline Moyer. “Being stuck in the airport for several hours allowed us to bond creatively and made us all together a stronger team.”
“Barbados was really good for our team’s morale,” said sophomore Jules Marble. “Being in such a beautiful place brought our spirits up and helped us work extremely hard both in the pool and with some cross training.”
Coming back to East Coast reality, a blizzard hit this past Saturday canceling the first meet of the spring semester against the University of Mary Washington. The Bullets instead used the weekend for rest and a little extra practice.
With only a few meets left in the regular season, the women are determined to make them count.
“Our final three meets will give us incredible competition in order to prepare for fast swims,” said junior Lizzy Butler.
Butler frequently races in the fly, freestyle and individual medley. She ranks 17th in the top fastest times for the 400IM in the conference.
“Everyone stayed tough during winter training and it’s that toughness that is going to help us succeed as we conclude our season,” said Moyer.
Moyer is a frequent contributor to the team’s point scoring, with program records in the 100m breaststroke, 200m breaststroke, 200m medley relay and 400m medley relay, which she helped to reset this year.
First-year students have also come to be essential aspects of the team. Specializing in the freestyle, Paige Griesse placed in every meet this season so far. First-year Johanna Hock has also shown much success in the freestyle, placing in every meet for the 50m and 400m relay.
First-year Inayah Sherry came in strong for her first season, placing in the 50m freestyle, 400m-medley relay and 200m-medley relay continuously. These three women are only a sampling of the success coming from first-years, not to mention the continued success of upper classmen.
“Our team is looking really solid this year,” said Butler. “We will have a strong line up for Conference championships in February.”
The team also welcomes back women who were abroad at the start of the season.
“A few of our abroad girls are back with us this semester, which will help us score higher at meets,” said Marble.
These women include Carlin Baker, a record holder for the 200m-medley relay, Sydney Boswell, a record holder in the 400m-medley relay, Meredith Lindblom and Maddie Tulp.
The team will try to stay focused for the last half of its season, with hope to surpass last year’s third place finish at the Centennial Conference Championships.
“We have put in the necessary training to make for a successful conference meet,” said Moyer.
“We are all looking forward to seeing each other swim to their highest potential,” said Butler.
The lady Bullets return to competition this Saturday, January 30, at 2:00 p.m. in the Swarthmore College pool.