SARATOGA SPRINGS – A busy stretch for the Vassar College women’s swimming and diving team finally came to an end on Saturday, as the Brewers took third at the Skidmore College Sprint Invitational in action from Saratoga Springs, NY. Vassar scored 347 points, while William Smith College earned the win with 472.5 and Skidmore took second with 368.
The Brewers, who have competed six times in the last two weeks, still had some strong swims in the cards despite some understandably tired arms. VC started the day in the 200 medley relay, taking second place with a time of 1:58.17, thanks to the efforts of Julia Cunningham, Hayley Schultz, Laura Vidano and Meg Harrington.
Sophomore Kael Ragnini posted a dominating win in the longest event of the day in the 500 free Saturday, chalking up a 5:28.68, which was over nine seconds faster than the next closest swimmer. Cunningham swam the 100 backstroke on Saturday, a race she rarely swims, and still took second after swimming nearly a second under her seed time of 1:04.66 with a 1:03.72.
Junior Madison Carroll earned seven points in the 100 back as well for Vassar with a 1:08.91, while freshman Sarah Boese was ninth with a 1:11.43. In the 50 breaststroke, Schultz was second with a 34.37, and Vidano followed that up with a win in the 100 butterfly with a season-best time of 1:04.10.
Senior Zoe Kurtz also took seventh place in the 100 butterfly after swimming a 1:18.17, and Harrington paced the Brewers in the 50 free after swimming a 27.43 for fourth place. Schultz was fifth overall in the 50 free, while junior Cali Corbett took seventh after swimming the down and back in 28.14.
Two-time All-American Julia Cunningham was back in the pool to earn a victory in the 400 IM, registering a 4:42.36, and Emily McDaniels swam a season-best time of 5:17.81 in the event as well. Senior captain Kayla Schwab also helped VC in the 400 IM, as she picked up nine more points with a 5:33.07 for sixth place.
In the 50 butterfly, Cunningham and Vidano went 1-2, as Cunningham swam a 28.26 to just out-touch Vidano and her 28.41. Freshman Abby Kirsch was under her seed time with a 33.20, and senior Zoe Kurtz also was over two seconds under her seed time with a 34.36.
VC saw Harrington earn second place in the 100 freestyle with a 59.11, and Ragnini was fourth in the 50 backstroke after recording a 31.55. Carroll was great in the 100 back as well with a 32.99, and Corbett got under her season-best time with a 34.42. Ragnini had no rest, as she returned to the pool to win the 200 free in 2:04.62.
In the 100 breaststroke, Schultz was second again, as she touched the wall in 1:12.72 for 13 more points. Schwab earned a season-best time of 1:18.01 as well in the 100 breast, and Vassar then took second in the 200 free relay with a new season-best time of 1:48.47 after Vidano, McDaniels, Ragnini and Harrington combined for the time.
Vassar will now taper the swimming down in anticipation for the biggest meet of the season in the Upper New York State Collegiate Swimming and Diving Championships, held February 15-18 at Ithaca College in Ithaca, NY.