and Divers Defeat Baldwin Wallace
by Liz Logan
Oberlins swim team began the season with three
losses and a win two losses for the womens team, and
one win and one loss for the mens. The first meet of the season
was held on the home turf of national champions Denison on Nov. 3.
The mens team lost 88 to 138, and the womens team lost
82 to 139.
We knew we probably werent going to beat the national
champions. They only used half their team to beat us up, and sent
the other half to Ohio Wesleyan to beat them up. We went in tired,
and there werent a lot of positive things that happened,
Coach Dick Michaels said.
For the women at Denison, all-American senior co-captain Celeste Mercer
stood out with a win in the 50 free and a close second place finish
in the 100 backstroke.
The men failed to win any events against Denison, but had some close
times which displayed the teams improvement. [Sophomore
Burt] Betchart did well in the backstroke and the 200 free, getting
good times for himself, Michaels said. First-year [Ben]
Pierce did well in the 200 [free] and 500 [free]. Pierce came
in second in the 500 free, an event hes still learning
how to swim, according to Michaels. [Sophomore Joel] Ketner
swam his best time of the year to date in the backstroke, Michaels
also recounted. He has been out of the water for two years,
but hes coming on really strong right now.
Though the women lost 114 to 125, the Baldwin Wallace meet on Nov.
7 was full of successes. Said Michaels, The Baldwin-Wallace
meet was a lot more fun. We knew it would be close it always
is. Mercer was a triple winner in the 50 free, the 100 fly and
the 100 backstroke. This was particularly remarkable for Mercer considering
there was only one event in between the 100 fly and 100 back during
which she could recover.
were so many positive things that happened, Michaels said.
[First year Kim] Davis had her two best times of the year.
[Sophomore Adrienne] Zoller had her lifetime best in breast stroke
right after finishing volleyball season. [Sophomore Meagan] Dunphy-Daly
also had lifetime best. It was amazing for so many swimmers to swim
their lifetime best times all in one meet.
Other players who turned in exceptional performances were sophomore
Julia Irwin, who helped the relay teams earn second place in the
200 freestyle relay and third place in the 200 medley relay. Sophomore
Nicole Middaugh was also a member of the relay team that earned
second place as well as the winner of the 200 individual medley.
We lost the meet by eleven points but we won the swimming
match, Michaels said. Our divers are beginners, so they
dont do the high board and that lost us the meet.
The mens team defeated Baldwin Wallace 127 to 96 with many
impressive performances. First-year Ben Pierce dropped his
time in the 200 free to win that event, Michaels said. Pierce
was a triple winner, coming in first in the 500 free, the 200 freestyle
relay and the 200 free. He took ten seconds off his lifetime
best [to win] the 500 free, Michaels said. Ketner also dropped
his time to win the IM. Ketner was also a triple winner, claiming
first place in the 200 medley relay, the 100 breast, as well as
the 200 IM. Also on the winning 200 medley team was Burt Betchart,
a triple winner for the 100 free and the 50 free.
Despite their success at Baldwin Wallace, the mens team has
many challenges to overcome this season. Said Michaels, The
mens team is too small there are only 14 guys. Its
bigger than last year, though, when we went to the championship
with only 10 guys. This is a malady in Division III swimming
liberal arts colleges have trouble getting men to swim for them.
We have gained six guys this year, and five graduated, which is
not too bad.
to Michaels, there are waning numbers of male swimmers not just
for Oberlin, but for many other colleges in the NCAC.
womens team, stronger in numbers, seems to have more potential.
Said Michaels, The NCAC is the best division three swimming
in the country, so some of our swimmers have had national cut times
but cant even place in the conferences top eight. This
years senior class is particularly strong so we have quite
a bit of talent but so does every team in our league.
With so many huge hurtles before them, Oberlins swimmers can
only look forward to a season of hard work. Said Michaels, Swimming
is all about individual improvement its not subjective,
it doesnt matter who you are playing. [The sport] is very
cut and dried, very objective its all about times.
When were improving, even if we still lose, its satisfying.