Bullets make waves: Gettysburg swim team surpasses Franklin & Marshall in final dual meet
By Elizabeth Hilfrank, Staff Writer
The lady’s swim team beat Franklin & Marshall 160-102 in the last regular season meet, putting them second in the standings for Conference Championships and marking the 501st win for Coach Mike Rawleigh.
The Bullets took first in nine out of the fourteen events on their Senior Day.
“All of the girls were really excited going into this meet,” said senior captain Marie Gingher. “F&M is one of our biggest rivals and it was our last meet before conferences, so it was bound to be an exciting one.”
This meet was the last swim meet in the Bullets’ Pool, so the seniors were honored for their dedication at the start of the meet. Each of the seven seniors received a kickboard with notes from members of the team as memorabilia.
“Our senior class has some key swimmers,” said sophomore Ali Mueller. “We will certainly miss them when they’re gone, not only because of their swimming abilities but also because of our friendships with them.”
Some of these seniors include captain Lea Candelmo, who won in the 200-meter individual medley, and captain Marie Gingher, who placed second in the 100-meter breaststroke. The Bullets will also soon say goodbye to captain Sam Evangelista, a specialist in the butterfly.
“Being on the team for these past four years is an indescribable experience,” said Evangelista. “I am very grateful for the entire department of athletics here at Gettysburg, my teammates, and my coaches.”
But out with the old and in with the new. First-year Sadie Stiles wrapped up the 100-meter breaststroke sweep, coming in third with a time of 1:08.91, while first-years Johnna Hock and Lindsay Hayden took first and second in the 100-meter freestyle.
The sophomores and juniors of the team appeared strong as well. Sophomore Savannah Llewellyn took home three wins in the 100-meter backstroke, 100-meter butterfly, and contributing to the 200-meter medley relay, which was completed by Mueller.
Mueller then returned to later score a first place finish in the 50-meter freestyle and to contribute to a win in the 400-meter freestyle relay.
Junior Caroline Moyer also contributed to three of the nine event wins for the team. Moyer came out victorious in the 100-meter breaststroke, 200-meter breaststroke and assisted to the 200-meter medley relay as well.
With eight wins out of nine meets, the Bullets appear strong heading into the final moments of the season.
“I can see conferences going really well,” said Gingher. “We have so much talent and so much potential. We’ve been training so hard all season and everyone is excited to watch it all pay off.”
Each swim event has many Gettysburg swimmers listed in the top times for the conference.
To give a sampling, the Bullets hold twelve out of the top 50 times in the 50-meter freestyle, the top two times in the 200-meter breaststroke (Stiles and Moyer), and seven of the top 50 times in the 100-meter backstroke.
“This group has worked hard over the course of the semester and they are very deserving of a successful finish,” said Evangelista.
Head Coach Rawleigh’s hard work aims for success as well.
On Thursday Coach Rawleigh brought home is 500th career dual-meet win with a sweep against Dickinson College. He has held his position for thirty-one years.
“Coach Rawleigh has done an amazing job as the head of this program and my experience wouldn’t have been the same without him,” said Evangelista.
Yet Rawleigh does not take credit for any of his success.
“Last night our coach said that he never swam for Gettysburg and that he shouldn’t be credited for the 500 wins, the Gettysburg swimmers of the past 31 years should have all the credit,” said Mueller.
It is the hope that the Bullets can continue to make Rawleigh proud for another 31 years.
Gettysburg will face the Diplomats again next Saturday in the Franklin & Marshall pool at 11:00 a.m. for a final invitational before the Centennial Conference Championships.