Swimming Programs Repeat as Conference Champions
Over the weekend, the Swarthmore College men's and women's swimming teams defended their Centennial Conference titles with dominant performances at the four-day championship meet. It was the fourth championship for both programs, with all of the men's titles coming in the past six years.
"We set out this year with the goal to repeat as conference champions. [We] were always aware we had a target on our backs and that other teams were going to challenge us," says head coach Karin Colby. "Throughout the season, we keep our attention on the immediate task at hand and controlling the controllables. While it's important in our sport to be aware of your competitors, there is little you can do to impact their performance, so it really is about practicing details of how to go fast and then racing how you practice."
On the women's side, the Garnet finished with 984 points, breaking their own meet record from last year and beating the next closest competitor, Gettysburg College, by 241 points. Overall, the team claimed 11 gold, eight silver, and eight bronze medals and placed at least one swimmer on the podium in all 18 events. The Garnet also recorded nine program-best times and set conference records in five events. With a host of provisionally qualifying NCAA “B” cut marks, the team is now waiting to see who will compete at the NCAA Division III Championships in Greensboro, N.C. from March 15 to 18.
The men's program was paced by Andrew Karpenko ’24, who repeated as the championship meet's Most Outstanding Swimmer. The Minneapolis native earned gold medals in three individual events and one relay while collecting one pool record, one conference record, and four NCAA "B" cut times.
The men's team finished with 10 gold, seven silver, and seven bronze medals and additionally recorded three program-best times and 12 NCAA "B" cut marks.
"Each year, we've grown our presence and gained valuable experience at the NCAA championship meet, so we hope to head down to Greensboro and make a statement on the national stage," says Colby. "It's all about controlling what we can control and enjoying the process together!"