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Wild Bunch Captures their First Dual Meet Win!

November 16, 2012

Our divers wished the swim team well as they boarded the vans and headed down 91 to Elms College Tuesday evening.  The divers stayed home and gained extra practice with Louie as the swimmers competed with Elms’ team.   Coach Bill Tyler and the Elms’ team were very welcoming; they had welcome signs up for us in the pool area.  Laura and Kyle were excited to see Coach Tyler since they swam with his daughter before coming to Smith.   The Wild Bunch entered the pool, dressed in their Smith gear and also adorned with other Wild bunch “swag” and secret psych up gifts.  They were unfazed by the extra distance they would have to tackle due to the 25-meter pool.  A few even commented that they liked the extra distance- their turns were no longer jammed!  Throughout the meet, we were continually impressed with Smith and Elms’ (swimmers and coaches) support of both teams.  Members of Elms’ men’s team came and supported their women.

There were a decent group of fans supporting the swimmers as well.  The bleachers were right on the pool deck so our “cheerleaders” were right in the action! .  From Smith, Becca Chazin ‘12 and her friends drove down to cheer.   Hayley Bezubka’s parents, Donna and John, brought a cooler with their dinner and watched an exciting meet.  Laura Nunnelly’s father, John, also drove down to watch Smith swim!  Thank you all for your continued encouragement!


Wild Bunch Highlights:

Smith had many teammates scoring points toward the overall win.  The opening relay of Emily Clark, Ariel Orr, Alyssa Pascuzzo, and Hayley Bezubka brought in the first win of the night in the 200 meter Medley Relay.  They all had driving swims, which converted to season best times in yards.  Emily Clark has been really working on her upper body strength in and out of the pool, Alyssa has been devoting time to practicing her high pace tempo in her fly over the past week, Ariel has continually been working on the strength of her breaststroke pull and the connection of her core to her kick and swim, and Hayley has been striving toward finding earlier speed in her swims. Jill Anderson also swam the anchor leg of the ‘C’ relay with a season best converted time of 33.51!

Alyssa Pascuzzo, Mackenzie Bradley, and Emily Lane also had strong swims in the 200-freestyle, coming in 1st, 2nd, and 4th places.  Rachel Dean swam a season best in a converted 200 freestyle of 2:38.68!

Greta Stacy and Christina Goethel used excellent teamwork and continued to push each other in the 100 m breaststroke. Greta debuted her breaststroke with a converted time of 1:22.97.

Meri Millman, like Hayley, is also working on finding speed earlier in her sprints.  She sped to a season best in her 100-freestyle with a converted time of 1:00.82.

Looking strong and maintaining very consistent pacing, Paige Christie debuted her 200 backstroke with a converted time of 2:26.46.  Sarah Tucker was also charging down the lane in her 200-meter backstroke, holding the water very well.  Her converted time was a season best time of 2:33.24.

Olivia Bannon maintained long strokes during the majority of her 200-meter breaststroke, swimming a season best time of 2:41.35.  Christine Hart, or as Kim calls her, Chrysanthemum, had a tremendous 200 m breaststroke; she fought for length and core engagement on almost every stroke!  She swam a converted season best time of 2:44.77.  Christina Goethel was relaxed and ready to go in her 200-meter breaststroke.  Her tempo was driving while she thought about holding water during her scull in of her pull.  She is finding great improvement holding water in practice this week!


Laura Nunnelly and Sohpie Mettler-Grove debuted their “500 Free” (400 meter swim) at Elms. Both women were excited and ready to swim despite not training for this distance race.  Laura Nunnelly negative split her 400m swim, trying to out-touch her teammate Kyle Boyd to the finish, touching at 5:58.29 (converted time).  Kyle and Laura used to swim with each other during high school, so it was exciting to watch them get into their competitive groove again.  Sophie Mettler-Grove worked with Ayla Staelin-Lefsky during the race, focusing on maintaining solid core engagement and power of each stroke.  Sophie clocked in at 6:33.51 (converted).  It was great to see them congratulate one another at the end of the 400m free.


Mackenzie Bradley, Laura Nunnelly, Christine Hart, Hannah Francis, and Devi Dearmon-Moore debuted a 200 IM at the Elms meet while Steff “The Terminator” Cervantes was able to get another shot at this event.  Even with the slight addition of distance to this event, none of the swimmers backed down during their swim.  While some felt slightly fatigued, due to their confidence in their strength and technique to carry them to the finish, they all swam very intentional and effortful races.


It was really wonderful to compete against Elms’ swimming team.  The swimmers and coaching staff display exemplary sportsmanship and cooperation!


Tomorrow, we return to competing distances in yards at Westfield State University at 1pm.  See you there!

Courtesy of Helen Zhang’s photography

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