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The Carletonian

Zicafoose, women finish third

<rleton women’s swimming and diving team had an impressive showing at this year’s MIAC Championships, held Thursday-Saturday of last week.  The Knights came in third overall, with eight All-MIAC finishes. Co-captain Kale Zicafoose ‘11 was selected as MIAC Swimmer of the Year thanks to her first-place finishes in the 100 and 200 backstrokes, her second-place finish in the 100 fly and her crucial contributions to team relays, in addition to her consistent wins over the course of the season.

“I am thrilled with the results of the meet both personally and from a team standpoint,” Zicafoose said. “Being named MIAC Swimmer of the Year was such an unexpected honor. I felt a confidence going into my races this year that I have never felt before.  I knew that I was stronger this year, had trained harder than ever and had the determination of my final senior meet with the entire team to push me to faster times. Our coach, Andy Clark, always talks about the importance of emotionally paying a swim forward and to watch a teammate experience the incredible euphoria of a best time or victory is the greatest motivation to personally swim fast.”
Indeed, most team members echo this sentiment. Ellen Esch ’11 dropped an astounding amount of time in both the 100 and 200 backstrokes, and stated, quite matter-of-factly, “MIACs is the meet to go big at.”

“Before my races, I was seriously just thinking about how great everyone else had [been] or was doing, which gave me the confidence that I too would do well,” Esch said.

Another standout performance came from Annie Metcalf ‘12, who made the NCAA “B” cut in two races and qualified for finals in every race. 

“[In the] weeks before the meet, I was a little nervous and doubtful of how fast I would swim this year, but the closer we got to conference I got more and more excited and confident,” Metcalf said. “Especially after the MN challenge taper group swam (February 4-5), I was so pumped up to swim fast there just wasn’t any more room for doubt.”

In the other pool, the divers also exceeded expectations. All three Carleton divers made it into the top sixteen rankings on both boards, with Sydney Weydemeyer ’11 clinching a second place finish in the 3m.

“This is one of the strongest diving teams Carleton has had in a long time,” Weydemeyer said.

Teammates also point to an outstanding swim from Hannah Nehrenhausen ‘11, who unexpectedly made it back to finals in the 200 breaststroke, advancing the Knights at a crucial point in their battle for third place with St. Thomas.  Other notable swims came from Erin McDuffie ‘13 in her segment of the 800 free relay, and Mica Hahn ‘14 and Molly Spence ‘14 in the 1650-yard freestyle.

“Knowing that it was my last meet competing as a Knight made the meet incredibly special for me,” reflected co-captain Louise Buckler ‘11, who herself accomplished a major career milestone of 1:00.00 in the 100-yard fly.  “Even though I’ve participated in the MIAC championship meet before, the atmosphere on the pool deck always amazes me. The whole team is so engaged in their teammates’ performances, and knowing that my team is out there screaming their lungs out for me really adds an extra something to my races. I think that a lot of people, including myself, surprised themselves this weekend.”

The MIAC Championships marked the end of the season for most of the Knights, giving them a chance to sit back and reflect on a long and successful season. A number of the Knights, however, will continue on to the NCAA Division III Championships, held from March 23-26 at the University of Tennessee.

Kate Dorwat is a member of the women’s swim team.

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