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Swimming and diving lose but grow as a team

By Curtis Zunyu He

Section: Sports

October 23, 2014

After a long, eight-month wait, the Brandeis swimming and diving team finally filled the Lindsey pool with intensity and excitement in their opening campaign against the Wheaton College Lyons on Saturday, Oct. 18. Although the Judges seized 10 individual wins, the Lyons excelled in diving, where they took control. The men’s team lost a close meet to the Lyons by a total score of 151.5 to 136.5, while the women’s team fell hard, notching 94 points against the Lyons’ 191.

It was a tough loss for the men’s team as they managed to maintain an even score on the board after 14 swimming events and completely dominated in freestyle and butterfly. The crowd was on its feet when Max Fabian ’15 was striving to lead the fastest Wheaton swimmer by almost a lap and won the 1000-yard freestyle match by 27 seconds. Fabian continued to shine in distance swimming when he gained another important victory in the 500-yard freestyle for the Judges. He won the 200-yard butterfly as he caught up with the lead swimmer in lane three during the third lap and finally surpassed him in the final sprint, accomplishing a huge comeback win.

Brian Luk ’16 snatched the 100-year freestyle race from Wheaton’s Jake Horne by .27 seconds. His butterfly short distance swimming was outstanding, as well, with a first-place win in the 100-yard contest.

The Judges fell in both men’s breaststroke and backstroke. Judges weren’t able to be victorious in either breaststroke or backstroke beyond these two events. Brandeis’ men lost diving by 26 points because Sam Zucker ’18 alone competed against two upperclassmen from Wheaton.

As for the women’s team, Joanna Murphy ’16 retained her speed as she led the Judges with two individual victories out of the three total wins from the team. Murphy experienced a similar turnaround to Fabian’s in the 200-yard butterfly when she successfully surpassed the leading Lyons swimmer in the third lane during the third lap. In the 500-yard freestyle contest, Murphy sustained her prestige as a record holder by leaving the second-place swimmer 20 seconds behind her.

In addition to Murphy’s wins, Erin Gawronski ’18 achieved her first individual win in her college swimming career by beating all of the Lyons swimmers in an intense match. However, the other events were dominated by the Lyons, especially in diving events for which the Judges didn’t have a participant to compete.

The Judges will meet a new challenge at the University of Rochester Invitational this weekend, Oct. 25-26. The competition will be the opening campaign for the Yellow Jackets at home. The Judges will compete with and to learn from all other four participating college teams including New York University, Canisius College, Hartwick College and Rochester University.

While the Judges lost in the pool, the meet was a huge step forward for the team overall. Having recruited 19 new swimmers, the team doubled in size since last year.

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