SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. - In a tight back-and-forth meet, the Mount Holyoke College swimming & diving team prevailed, rallying past Simmons College for a 153-140 victory on Senior Day at the MHC Natatorium. It was the final regular season home meet for the Lyons, who are now 7-2 on the season. The Sharks move to 10-2 overall.
Simmons set the tone right off the block, capturing the 200-yard medley relay in a time of 1:54.42. Mount Holyoke gained valuable points though as both the 'A' and 'B' relays were second (1:55.53) and third (2:03.97), respectively.
MHC rallied right back as senior captain Cathleen Pruden won the 1000-yard freestyle in a time of 10:29.38. Classmate Erica Carvell was third overall with a time of 11:39.44, while sophomore Claire Beckett was right behind in fourth, hitting the wall in a time of 12:09.63.
In the 200-yard freestyle, junior captain Emily Craig was runner-up behind Sharks' junior Miriam Swisher, posting a time of 2:04.26. MHC junior Anne Kuenning picked up the Lyons third win of the day in the 50-yard backstroke with a time of 29.37. Senior Emily Serio and first year Janae Davis were third (31.83) and fourth (32.92), respectively.
Senior captain Sarah Crocker then placed second in the 50-yard breaststroke, posting a time of 34.58, while first year Kate Flaherty rounded out the top three with a time of 35.15. First year Bri Groves then claimed victory in the 100-yard butterfly, touching the wall in a time of 1:02.27, while Carvell placed third in the event with a time of 1:04.97.
Junior Katie Tyler then picked up the first of her two individual wins, winning the 50-yard freestyle in a time of 25.65. Kuenning also picked up points in third with a time of 26.83.
After several solid finishes over the next couple of events, Tyler grabbed victory again in the 50-yard butterfly with a time of 27.68, followed by Groves in second (27.85) and sophomore Topaz Mukulu in fifth (30.19).
Simmons regained the lead in the meet after junior Allison Gauvin won the 3-meter diving event against MHC senior Emily Ewen, notching 176.70 points to Ewen's 156.75.
Despite the deficit, the Lyons powered on, collecting critical points in the 200-yard individual medley as Pruden won in a time of 2:14.39. Beckett was second with a time of 2:24.31, followed by Crocker in fourth with a time of 2:25.34.
With the score still tight, it came down to the final relay - the 200-yard freestyle. The foursome of Craig, Carvell, Kuenning and Pruden claimed the victory in a time of 1:41.64 to edge out Simmons 'A' relay which had a time of 1:42.69.
Prior to the meet, the Lyons recognized the seniors from Simmons, as well as honored their own seven seniors. This year's class includes Carvell, Crocker, Ewen, captain Kelly Sin Ee Lim, Sarah McKay, Pruden and Serio.
Mount Holyoke is back in the pool next Saturday when it travels to Smith for a 1pm dual meet. Simmons is now idle until February 12 when it opens competition at the New England Intercollegiate Swimming & Diving Association Championships, hosted by the University of Rhode Island.