Men’s and Women’s Swim Teams Finish Season Strong
Domination and friendship were the name of the game, leading the Red Men’s Swim and Diving team to win the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin Championship and the Lady Reds to place the highest they have in seven years at 2nd.
The scoring began the weekend prior when the diving team travelled to Illinois Wesleyan University for their 1-meter and 3-meter competitions. The two-day event went to Carthage, as Red Men Aaron San Juan, ’19, and Connor Pierson,’20, each set records and won the titles for their 3-meter and 1-meter dives, respectively. On the women’s side, Zoe Rodriguez, ’18, swept with record-setting dives in both the 1- and 3-meter events, scoring 429.90 and 422.95 points, respectively.
This is the third time Rodriquez broke the 1-meter record in her three year collegiate career, the two prior being her own records.
“It is easy to get complacent, so I add new dives and do things I’m not comfortable with,” said Rodriquez. “Aiming for a higher score helps with regionals and nationals being a prospect.”
The following Thursday, Carthage swimming went in to the three-day championship with the Red Men in first at 74 points, and the Lady Reds in second with 61 points, just one point behind Illinois Wesleyan. With several top 9 finishes for the Lady Reds and two “inspirational” races by Lee Hollman, ’17, in the 50 freestyle and Nick Sall. ’17, in the 200 individual medley, Carthage sat pretty in first for both teams.
“Individually we did well all day. Thirty-three swimmers got at least one best time,” said women’s head coach Beth DeLaRosby.
Day 2 podium went to the Red Men. The 200 medley relay consisting of Sam Gabriel, ’19, Paul Devereux, ’18, James Weslaski, ’17, and Hollman took first with a time of 1:32.25. In the 100 breaststroke, Chris Riordan, ’17, Devereux, and William Zocher, ’19, went one-two- three for a dominating finish.
The Lady Reds had two strong relays, 200 medley and 800 free, with 3 individual medal peformances by Mattea Amdt, ’20, Kate Hugo, ’18, and Hannah Miles, ’18. Unfortunately, the 19-time CCIW Women’s Champion Wheaton Collage had overtaken the Lady Reds by 65 points, leaving them with 502 at the end of Day 2.
As the final day began, excitement and support radiated from all teams in hopes of bringing home the CCIW Champion title at the end of the night. While all teams craved the title, they took some time to enjoy the event and the friendly competition.
About halfway through Saturday night’s finals, an allotted 20 minuet break turned into a kick line and musical outburst as all 8 teams threw their arms over each other’s shoulders and began belting “Sweet Caroline” in unison. The fun did not stop there; Spiderman made a surprise visit on deck with some twerking and a not-so- graceful dive into the pool for a lap.
“Swimming is unique, since it’s such a difficult sport,” said Jamey Hill, ’17. “Even though we swim on different teams, we understand and respect each other, because we know how hard everyone has been working for that moment. There is so much mutual respect.”
After the musical break, the final relays of conference were underway when every athlete swam their best to get as many remaining points as possible. It was the final 400 relay of the night that solidified the Lady Reds second place finish, totaling a solid 745, just behind Wheaton who won their 20th consecutive Championship.
It was by a landslide the Red Men took home the CCIW Championship title, scoring 956 points, 193 points above their biggest rival Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. For the second time, men’s head coach Seth Weidmann was awarded CCIW Coach of the Year.
“I knew we were going to win earlier than I publicly showed. It was the morning of the second day when we set ourselves up so well for finals that night,” said Weidmann. “Winning Coach of the Year felt more deserved this time because of the team’s performance and how they put the pieces together over the year.”