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Wild Bunch swims/dives the Owls! Jenika Parson qualifies for NCAA in 1M and 3M!

November 18, 2012

This Saturday, the Wild Bunch traveled down to Westfield State for their third dual meet this season.  What a meet they had!  There were some tremendous swims and dives from both teams- many season and personal bests!

Thank you to our FAN group: the Christie family, Nunnelly family, Arrison family, Parson family, Hart family, Bierwert family, and Kulik family who traveled to Westfield to support the team, cheer, and bring goodies after the meet!  You helped energize both the Smith and Westfield teams by being there!!

Jenika Parson’s family watched their daughter earn two NCAA Qualifications in the 1M (277.0 points) and the 3M (269.85)!  It was so wonderful to have Jenika back healthy and diving well!  Cece Arrison’s family also traveled to Westfield to support her and the team.   Cece beat her top score on the 3M by almost thirty points (193.75).  Congratulations divers! Jump High, Tuck Tight, Smith Divers do it right!

Emily Clark lead the 200 Medley B Relay with a 31.78, almost a second faster in her 50 backstroke.  The hard work she’s put in on her turnover and hold has paid off this week!  Rachael Gainer continues to gain speed in her anchoring leg of the relay, swimming a 28.08 down from a 28.8 as well in the B Relay!   Christina Goethel swam a season best time in the 50 breaststroke in the C Relay with a time of 39.98.  Senior Rachel Dean also swam a personal best time in her 50 fly with a split of 37.66 down from a 38.16 in previous years!  To anchor the C Relay, Jill Anderson sped down the lane with ferocity and drive and touched at 32.99 as her split, earning a personal best in a 50 free in a relay!

Our distancey folks swam next in the 1000 freestyle.  Despite the slightly warmer water, Emily Lane pulled out a season best time by a second, 11:56.68, swimming with great acceleration through the water.  Ayla Staelin-Lefsky slashed almost twenty-five seconds from her previous personal best in the 1000 free!  She held very consistent pacing throughout- determined to set her year off with a dynamite swim!  She went 13:09.05!  Ayla is striving to get stronger in and out of the pool this year!

Greta Stacy debuted her 200 freestyle at a 2:22.97.  While she admitted that she went out a little conservatively, for a first time 200 free, it is a very decent time!  She will continue to lower that time with more experience racing that distance in practice and during meets!  Sophie Mettler-Grove dropped two seconds in her 200 freestyle, 2:23.26.  She is set upon gaining more speed and power in her strokes and off her walls throughout the rest of the season.  It is thrilling to see her get amped for her races and sets in meets and practice!  Emma Reim also swam a season best with a 2:10.72, swimming very strong and quick paced throughout her 200 free! She is continuing to drop time as she gains range of motion and strength!

Robin Currens swam a gutsy 100 backstroke, swimming the first 50 around the same time she swam the medley relay and coming home just as ferociously.  She dropped two seconds, swimming a 1:06.89 and winning the backstroke!  Robin continues to drive effectively down the lane in practice.  With some added turn speed, there is no stopping Robin this season!  Sarah Tucker was also fired up for her 100 backstroke and knocked a second off her time as well, 1:11.28.  Her tempo never slowed throughout the race.

In the 100 breaststroke, Hannah Francis debuted, earning a personal best on her first race, 1:16.36!  We have never seen her smile so big after she glanced up at the clock.  Christine Hart, Christina Goethel and Helen Zhang also improved their times 1:16.27, 1:24. 27 and 1:25.40 respectively!  Olivia Bannon was also a standout in the 100 breaststroke, dropping one and a half seconds, 1:13.10.  Her strokes were long and powerful!  Great job breaststrokers!

Mackenzie Bradley won the 200 fly by swimming with a competitive purpose and shaved off two seconds, 2:18.92.  Stef “The Terminator” Cervantes and Rachel Dean both also earned best times in their races, getting great hold on the water and swimming smoothly throughout this grueling race.  Stef took 18 seconds off her swim to earn a 3:04.27! Rachel slashed four seconds off her time to touch at 3:23.07.

The 50 freestyle was an exciting event!  Alyssa Pascuzzo debuted the 50 free with a 26.78, a personal best, and she won the event!

The next event, the 100 freestyle had many season best times.  Sophie Mettler-Grove dropped two seconds to touch at 1:04.87.  The sprint AFAPs have been paying off in practice!  Christina Goethel again swam a personal best, breaking into the 1:09.27 with increased tempo and quick breaths throughout.  Bina Milger almost broke 1:01 in her 100!  Her continued core connection and fast turns in practice are beginning to pay off!  She is an extremely diligent, hard worker!  Robin Currens also debuted her 100 freestyle, swimming a 1:01.26, which was one second faster than her relay split.

The 200 backstroke was next.  Emily Clark flew in this event, sliding through the water to touch at 2:21.92, earned first place for Smith.  Laura Nunnelly also picked up her tempo and power during her swim to knock off almost four seconds, 2:27.44.  Sarah Tucker also had another exciting swim, touching the wall in 2:30.64, three seconds faster than the previous meet!  Well done backstrokers!

Our breaststrokers shined again in the 200.  Christine, the racer at heart, Hart, swam using great drive and core engagement and touched the wall for a best time of 2:43.90.  Helen Zhang also dropped two seconds, using her legs more in the last fifty to swim a 3:06.38.  Olivia Bannon, continued her long, powerful strokes in the 200 and touched the wall in 2:39.59 (less than four seconds away from her personal best time!).

Next, our distance swimmers were back in the pool ready to tackle the 500 freestyle.  Kelsey Swensen still warm from her 1000 free, knocked nine seconds off her swim to earn her college career personal best, 5:41.90.  She was determined to keep her pacing strong throughout the race!  Emily Lane also dropped three seconds, 5:51.79.  She was determined to push through discomfort to find glory!  Go Smith distance!

Alyssa Pascuzzo had another season best swim in the 100 fly, 1:02.84, .08 seconds away from her personal best last year!!  She has been working on increasing her power and recovery speed in her fly during practice.  Paige Christie also swam a season best in her fly, 1:07.1!  She has also been working on getting great hold in the water.

In the 200 IM, Alyssa continued to thrive, touching in 2:19.04, less than two seconds away from her personal best.  Emily Lane also debuted the 200 IM in 2:36.17, a second away from her personal best time as well!  Great job swimmers!

The final relay was an exciting event!  All three of Smith’s relays as well as Westfield’s relays were neck and neck at the beginning!  This created a wonderful dynamic and increased motivation for the swimmers to go for it!  In the senior relay, Mackenzie Bradley swam her 100 free in 1:00.8.  Sarah Tucker slashed a second off hers, 1:04.11.  Kelsey also improved her relay split by a second 1:02.83.   In the relay closest to them, Paige Christie flew and touched at 1:00.37.  Kyle Boyd got her tempo up and swam a 1:03.1!  In the third relay, Olivia Bannon debuted a 100 free in 1:01.34, violently kicking her legs during the last 25.  Ayla Staelin-Lefsky earned a season best time anchoring that relay with a 1:09.62.

There were SO many fantastic events during this meet!   The Westfield coaches: David and Adam as well as the Westfield swimmers were very welcoming and helpful.  Kim and Amanda were very proud of the Wild Bunch during this meet due to the exemplary sportsmanship demonstrated as well as the swims and dives that pushed the envelope.

The limits are infinite for our swimmers and divers.  We hope to continue to see them executing their swims and dives with intelligence, ferocity and passion.

PVI @ Mount Holyoke College is the last meet of 2012: December 1st.

Keep working hard Wild Bunch!

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