The Hillsdale College Chargers narrowly beat Albion College in the Jack McAvoy Natatorium on Friday, Nov. 1 and swept a group meet they also hosted the following Saturday, Nov. 2.
Senior Caylee McComb said their goal for the weekend was to be “unflappable”— to “bounce right back when something gets you down.”
Head Coach Kurt Kirner said the team ”can’t waste any opportunities.”
“Regardless of the competition, we still have to come with the mindset that we need to race,” Kirner said. “As we approach the midseason invitational, the girls need to be building their race plan.”
On Friday, the Chargers lead Albion by only two points going into the last event, a 200 freestyle relay. The A‑relay team of freshman Marie Taylor, sophomore Carissa Henderson, freshman Leah Tunney, and junior Katherine Heeres beat Albion by .01 second, bringing the team to a win of 141 – 130.
“Relays lend themselves well to that kind of thing,” Heeres said. “I think most people swim better on relays because it’s much more tangibly team-linked than swimming an individual event.”
Kirner said the meet was tighter than it should have been because of a disqualified relay earlier in the meet, but the close competition “got the girls fired up.”
The Chargers dominated a lot of the distance events, including a 1 – 2‑3 sweep in the 1000 freestyle, in which Freshman Leah Tunney took first (10:40.10), freshman Sarah Clark second (11:10.41), and sophomore Anna Clark third (11:25.26).
On Saturday, the Chargers hosted four teams — Tiffin University, Olivet College, Notre Dame College, and Ursuline College — and beat each team. Against Ursuline, the Chargers won 224 – 28, against Tiffin 212 – 51, against Olivet 221 – 45, and against Notre Dame they won 196 – 54.
Saturday was also ‘Senior Swim,’ which is the Chargers’ last home meet of the season. Many parents, siblings, and friends came to support the seniors’ last time racing in their home pool and the team conducted a tribute to the 8 girls before the meet.
“It doesn’t really feel like the last home meet because it’s so early in the season,” senior Victoria Addis said. “So we seniors are just trying to have fun. And we have a long season left to go, so the sadness hasn’t crept over yet.”
Kirner said he did his best to place the seniors in their strongest events. Seniors Bailey Bickerstaff, Allie Matti, Taylor Steyer, Catherine Voisin, and Danielle Snell, all placed in the top three for at least two of their events, and Addis took first in both of her events.