Plagued by everything short of the plague itself, Oberlin's Yeowomen of the pool had their best finish in the NCAC Championships despite illness in many of their top swimmers. Despite a last place finish in the NCAC, many of the swimmers posted personal bests through the season, including a freestyle relay team which broke the old Oberlin record by a full 13 seconds. Hanna Borthwick, Beth Lowe and Amy Neumeister are the only graduating seniors, and a strong class of new recruits is supposed to be en route. Head coach Dick Michaels promised after the season ended, "Next year we will not be last."
The women's side of the track squad finished strong, with victories in the NCAC Championships, leading to a all-time best finish of third place. Sophomore Chamia Peterson, juinor Amie Ely and first-year Elizabeth Chandler swept the long jump competition, with Peterson setting an Oberlin varsity record. Senior Trista Thornberry continued her rampage through the NCAC in running activities, with a victory. Oberlin varsity record in the 1500-meter race. Throughout the season, the women's team put in strong performances and the NCAC's were the culmination.
The culmination for the men's track team was more in dealing with injured runners than setting records as they took eighth of eight in the NCAC, juniors Gil Saenz and Dan Feldman were both running on injured hamstrings. However, the 4x200 meter relay team finished fourth and the 4x400 meter took third.
The Yeomen again had a season in which they won a handful of games though fighting through them all.
The season was started with a tough 12 game losing streak which spanned from late November to mid-January before pulling ahead of Earlham College in a 77-71 victory. Earlham proved to be Oberlin's punching bag through the season, as two of Oberlin's three victories in their 3-21 season came to Earlham.
The final victory set Oberlin up in the NCAC Championship, where they were abused by the College of Wooster, 107-57.
The Yeomen will graduate two seniors, Kiese Laymon and Josh Ellison, and look to their strong base of soon-to-be-sophomores to lead them to an improved season next year.
Individual improvement equaled an overall improvement for the men's side of the pool. The Yeomen finished fourth in the NCAC championships with 13 of the 15 men's swimmers posting lifetime bests. The team will lose co-captain seniors Josh Davis and Clayton Woodson, as well as senior swimmers Eric Grasha, Wayne Miller and Robert Pinson. A welcome addition to the team was first-year Aaron Hillyear, who provided the team with a diver to fill out their competitive potential in competition. For years, Oberlin would fall short in the final points tally no matter their performance due to a lack of divers. The large shoes to fill left by the graduating seniors will help push the remaining Yeomen.
With one of the brightest futures in Oberlin's sports, the women's basketball team is waiting to explode next year. They finished this season with a record of 6-16 overall, 3-13 within the NCAC, and although feeling less than satisfied with the season's final result, their internal make up holds much promise. With a team made up of five first-years, six sophomores and one junior, the Lady Crimson cannot help but pick up from where they left off. Moments of this potential came in the tail end of their season, where they got themselves into the NCAC Championship tournament by beating Earlham College 65-60 after going on a 1-8 slump. They woke up a Philips Gym usually populated by sleeping fans before losing in the first game of the tournament to Wittenberg University, 75-57.
They look to add strong new recruits in addition to the squad in play to be a stronger force next year.
Copyright © 1998, The Oberlin Review.
Volume 126, Number 24, May 22, 1998
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