Swimming Makes Splash
Currently, the Oberlin College men’s and women’s swimming and diving squads are unstoppable. With four meets under their belt, the teams look vastly to improve upon the men’s and women’s seventh and eighth place finishes, respectively, at the North Coast Athletic Conference Championships last season.
The squad returns with solid talent in the pool and on the diving board. The motivational coaching talents of Women’s Head Coach Mark Fino, in his fourth year of coaching at Oberlin, and Director of Swimming and Diving and Men’s Head Coach Dick Michaels, who is celebrating his 36th and final year as a swim coach, are developing the young Oberlin squad. With the recruitment of over 20 newcomers, the team is quickly shaping into one of the most competitive forces in the conference.
On Nov. 2, the Yeowomen made waves in the pool as they celebrated their first dual meet victory in five years. The women were up against the competitive Baldwin-Wallace Yellow Jackets, who took first place in the Ohio Athletics Conference championships last season. Despite this obstacle, the Yeowomen proved their talent, winning 129-102.
The Ulmschneider sister “powerhouse” dominated every event they swam. First-year Bryne Ulmschneider took two first-place finishes, while sophomore record-holder Kiri Ulmschneider won three of her events.
First-years Erin Straight, Marsha Guy and Ploy Keener and sophomore Maura Selenak grabbed first in the 200-yard medley relay with a time of 1:56.81. First-year Kir Selert also showed her racing stripes in the 50- and 100-yard freestyles.
“To come out and beat a team like Baldwin-Wallace is just a tremendous victory for us,” said Fino.
The men fell short 131-106 against Baldwin-Wallace despite stellar performances by seniors Thomas Limouze and Craig Betchart, who accounted for two of Oberlin’s wins. Limouze won the 1000-yard freestyle, finishing with a time of 10:37.62. Betchart stunned the field with his first-place finish in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 49.12.
Three days later, the squad hosted Ohio Wesleyan and showed their talent yet again. While the men dominated the entire meet, winning with a score of 141-56, the women squeaked by with a three-point lead.
The Yeowomen made the record books again, with two all-time top five races. First-year Marsha Guy captured the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 2:14.64. Top performances also came from Selert, who won the 50-yard-freestyle in 25.70. Sophomore Ulmschneider dominated with three first-place finishes in the 200-yard butterfly, 400-yard individual medley and the medley relay.
The men’s team also raced to greatness, boasting several first-place event winners. Sophomore diver Daniel Timchak took both diving events, while Betchart captured the distance events. Limouze won both the 200-yard butterfly and the 200-yard freestyle.
In light of the current wins, Fino has a very positive perspective on the remainder of the season. “We have a women’s team that is poised to make a big breakthrough in our level of competitiveness. The swimmers in this program are both very academically and athletically gifted. I am excited about the potential within this team to become great scholar-athletes for Oberlin College.”
Oberlin prepares for another victory as they travel to Wittenberg University
on Nov. 12.