The Amherst College men's and women's swimming and diving teams kicked off their seasons against NESCAC foe Colby College on Saturday, November 22. The women's team earned a 163-125 win while the men's team won by a score of 145-118.
The women's team earned their season opening win while taking first place in fifteen of the sixteen events on the day. In total, eight team members took home individual wins, with five of those women winning two events. Leading the charge was sophomore Kendra Stern (Albuquerque, NM), who began her second year with dominant wins in the 1000 and 100 freestyles. Fellow sophomore Brooke Bennett (Arcadia, CA) also put forth a strong showing, taking home first place in both the 100 and 200 butterfly events. First-year Laura Timson (Livonia, MI) kicked off her collegiate career with an equally impressive performance, taking first place in both the 50 freestyle and the 200 IM.
On top of the impressive performances put forth by those underclassmen, seniors Alex Lee (Piedmont, CA) and Sabrina Dorman (Chevy Chase, MD) rounded out the team's double winners. Lee took home first place in the 200 freestyle and 200 backstroke while Dorman finished first in the 1 and 3 meter diving events.
The men's team dominated the competition on their way to wins in all sixteen events in this opening meet. The performance included wins by nine different performers, highlighted by five individuals with two event wins. Senior captain Christian Witzke (Jacksonville, FL) got off to a strong start with wins in the 100 and 200 butterfly events, while fellow senior and defending national champion Kai Robinson (Vashon, WA) continued his dominance with wins in both the 1 and 3 meter diving events. Junior Tad Homchick (Mercer Island, WA) also put forth an impressive showing, taking home first place in the competitive 50 and 100 freestyle races.
In addition to these strong upperclassmen performances, the younger classes showed off an impressive array of talent in this first meet. Sophomore Alex Fraser (Willowbrook, IL) picked up where he left off after a freshman year highlighted by four All-American performances with dominant wins in the 200 and 500 freestyle events while fellow sophomore Reid Fitzgerald (New York, NY) also put forth an impressive early season showing with big wins in the 100 and 200 backstroke. In addition to these top performers, four members of the first-year class kicked off their careers with individual event wins.
While the team put forth impressive showings throughout the day, the 200 freestyle relay team of Homchick, Fraser, and senior captains Joe Scala (Pequannock, NJ) and Witzke may have provided the biggest highlight of all. In the final event of the day, the team earned a dominant win while setting a pool record in a time of 1:26.73, breaking the former record of 1:27.20 which was set in 1999.
Both teams moved to 1-0 on the year and prepare to face NESCAC and Little Three rival Wesleyan University on Monday November 24th at Pratt Pool.