In a sport that could come down to tenths of a second, the Wilmington College men’s swimming team lost in a closely contested battle, falling to John Carroll, 103-102, at the Wilmington Natatorium.
On the women’s side, Wilmington College was defeated by John Carroll 157-48.
“Senior Day is without question is one of my favorite days of the season, we had the privilege of celebrating nine very special members of the team this afternoon; Rachel Drake, Rachel Routzong, Colleen Rueppel, Jordynn Wise, Lydia Wolcott, Eric Balash, Dylan Hammond, David Hawk and Curtis Richards,” said Wilmington head coach Trip Breen. “Senior day gives me an opportunity to think back on all of the moments that we have shared. I am always shocked at how fast their four years go. From the time of their initial campus visits through today, time truly does fly. I am so appreciative of their effort, dedication and the legacy that they leave behind. These are nine truly outstanding people.”
Freshman Andrew Stewart registered three victories for the Fightin’ Quakers. He claimed the 50 freestyle (24.38) and the 100 freestyle (54.31), and then teamed with junior Brendan Tirado, junior David Spraul and senior David Hawk to win the 200 freestyle relay (3:40.01).
“The male sprinters had a great day today as well,” said Breen. “I think that Andrew Stewart had two real breakout swims, winning both the 50 and 100 freestyle. “Andrew, David Hawk and Jason Prible swept the 100, which is tough to do against a team like John Carroll that has some great sprinters.”
Led by Stewart, Wilmington took the first three places in the 100 freestyle. Hawk was second (55:08) and junior Jason Prible was third (56.57).
Tirado and freshman Matt Kitze finished 1-2 in the 800. Tirado won the event with the time of 9:17.70, while Kitze finished in 9:18.38.
Junior Erik Spraul won the 200 individual medley (2:14.44).
“Both teams raced well today, especially for being fatigued,” said Breen. “We are at the end of a long training cycle and I know that everyone is looking forward to resting and the OAC Championship Meet. I am really proud of both team and what they have accomplished so far.”
“The men also had a great race early in the meet in the 800 meter free,” said Breen. “It was a really close race the whole way and both Brendan Tirado and Matthew Kitze finished really well getting first and second. They both showed a lot of toughness.”
For the women, sophomore Samantha Glish had the best day for the swimmers, winning the 50 freestyle (29.60) and finishing second in the 100 freestyle (1:07.68). She teamed with senior Rachel Drake, junior Kathryn Spitznogle and junior Elyse Spraul to place second in the 200 medley relay.
Spraul added a third place finish in the 100 butterfly (1:15.53), Spitznogle was third in the 100 backstroke (1:18.60) and Drake was third in the 100 breaststroke (1:26.40).
“Our sprinters put together some great late season races,” said Breen. “Samantha Glish won the 50, Colleen Rueppel was fourth. I am looking forward to watching them race at conference.”
“I thought our women’s 200 medley relay swam a great race today as well, but we still need to clean up relay take-offs and do some fine tuning,” said Breen. “The sprinting is coming along and that is a great sign for the whole team.”
Wilmington now preps for the 2016 Ohio Athletic Conference swimming championships at the University of Akron. The three-day event starts on February 18.