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NEWMCAS: Feb 15th- 17th Divers qualify for Regional NCAA Meet; 200 Fly Record broken; Swimmers and Divers win Sportsmanship Award for the Second year in a row.

February 23, 2013

Cheering on the backstrokers!
Photo taken by: Helen Zhang

Kim, Amanda, Louie, and Jack could not have asked for a better weekend for the Wild Bunch swimmers and divers.  Almost 100% of the team’s times and dives were season bests.  More than 80% of times were also lifetime best times!  Congratulations to the entire team as well for earning the Sportsmanship Award of the NEWMAC conference for the second year in a row- this attests to the wonderful team, people, and competitors that you are.

Also, Congratulations to Jenika Parson and CeCe Arrison for earning consideration scores on both the 1M and 3M!! Both made it back in the evening to perform during finals.  Congratulations to Mackenzie Bradley for breaking her own record in the 200-yard butterfly by over a second, 2:10.12!

Conference highlights:

Cheering and clapping for swimmers and divers behind the lanes/to the side of the pool during every race and every dive the swimmers were present for.


Photo taken by: Helen Zhang


Photo taken by: Helen Zhang

The vast display of Smith College temporary tattoos emphasizing strong scapular muscles on many swimmers’ backs!  There were also fabulous “poetry” tattoos decorated biceps and quads!

Claire Dudek’s Gangnam Style dance- complete with fairy wings- as she confidently danced her way onto the bulkhead!

The fist pumping and smiles of joy upon finishing races and looking at diving scores!


Christina Goethel ’13, Rachel Dean ’13, Stef Cervantes ’13, and Sarah Tucker ’13
Photo taken by: Helen Zhang

The arrival of the superfan club: Rachel Dean, Stef Cervantes, Christina Goethel, Jill Anderson, Garbo Garborcauskas, Helen Zhang, Vanessa McFarlane and Devi Dearmon-Moore & their waving of the Smith Sharks banner as well as the consistent support and encouragement of Emma Reim throughout the weekend.  Each of you were amazing- helping time, counting for the 500 and 1650, taking pictures, offering words of encouragement, high fives, smiles, laughs.  Your continuous positive attitudes, generosity, helpfulness, and camaraderie have positively contributed to everyone’s fast swims/graceful dives this past weekend!!!!

The parents/family/friends coming to support and cheer on the Wild Bunch!

Individual highlights:

CeCe Arrison: diving in finals both nights and getting 8th in the 1M and 7th in the 3M!  She has a quiet, confident, competitive presence while diving.  It was so exciting to see progress this much throughout the season.  Good luck to her in the upcoming meet this Friday/Saturday!

Jenika Parson: Earning 3rd in the 1M and 6th in the 3M!  Even the men were cheering for Jenika after each one of her dives!  It was wonderful to see Jenika’s calm presence before her approach on each dive.  It is going to be incredible to watch her during the Regional qualification meet for Nationals this weekend!  Good luck Jenika!

Olivia Bannon: her best year in swimming to date, 25.87 split in the 200 free relay, improving her 50 yard time by over a second from last year!  58.18 in the leadoff leg of the 400 free relay.  Olivia also excelled in her breaststroke events, swimming a 31.54 split in the 200 medley relay, 1:08.15 in her individual 100 breaststroke, coming in 9th (top of the consolation heat), and coming in 12th in the 200 breaststroke, 2:31.38- all lifetime bests for her!  She even took almost 9 seconds off her 200 IM, 2:22.26, swimming her backstroke length in 39.5 and bettering her fly and breaststroke lengths as well! What a year!

Hayley Bezubka: member of the “TOTS” sprint lane- All lifetime best swims: 26.7 split in the 200 freestyle relay, 27.31 individual split in the 50 free, 57.92 split in the 400 medley relay, which encouraged her going into the 100 individual free: 58.02.  Haley also smashed her lifetime best time in her 200 freestyle by almost 9 seconds: 2:06.84, and went even faster in the 800 free relay: 2:05.73.  She is proving herself to be a fierce, smart 200 freestyler! GO Hayley!


Kyle Boyd ’15 rocking her Ryan Lochte glasses from her Secret Psych Up!
Photo taken by: Helen Zhang

Kyle Boyd:  a ferocious competitor, Kyle swam lifetime bests in all that she swam.  In her 500 free, she dropped seven seconds: 5:36.17 and made distinct moves at the 250 and in the last 100.  Her 200 freestyle time improved by 3 seconds: 2:08.71, going out a 100 free best time in her 200: 1:02.63.  Kyle also began her 1650 swim very aggressively- holding 34/35s for the first 1000yards and hanging on for the last bit, 19:39.16.

Mackenzie Bradley: a powerhouse swimmer; swimming lifetime bests in the 200 free relay-50 split: 26.48, and she split 1:59.83 in her 200 free of the 800 free relay!! While she broke the 200-fly record (as mentioned above), she also swam a lifetime best of 5:11.57 in the 500 free (7th place overall), and broke the 18-minute mark in her 1650, 17:44.06!!!  You displayed consistent leadership throughout the season with your work ethic and team spirit.


Photo taken by: Helen Zhang

Paige “mighty mite” Christie: While she is smaller than some of her competitors, she brings a forth one of the most tenacious, driven attitudes to her races and practices.  Paige swam lifetime bests in her leg of the 400 free relay: 58.56, and led off the 800 free relay to swim a lifetime best: 2:03.99!!  Her backstroke leg of the 400 Medley relay was fluid, connected and powerful: 1:04.26 (four second drop!).  Despite feeling a little under the weather, Paige also swam season best times in her 200 back and 200 fly by 2-3 seconds! Congrats Paige!

Robin Currens:  Confidence is the word that comes to mind when thinking of Robin before her races.  Overcoming some unexpected back tightness the two weeks prior to Newmacs, Robin swam lifetime bests in all of her backstroke events: 30.58 in the 50 back, 1:03.65 in the 400 medley relay, and 2:20.35 in the 200 backstroke.  She even bettered her 200 free time by almost eight seconds: 2:04.84- it was one of the most gutsy swims where she went out in 58.9 in the first 100 and held on for the second half.  Robin Currens will always rise to the challenge.

Claire Dudek: Claire was all smiles this past weekend- whether it was after her races or while she was cheering or dancing- she fired up her teammates.  Claire swam lifetime bests in her leg of the 200 free relay: 27.10, she broke a minute in her lead off leg in the 400 free relay: 59.03!!, dropped three seconds in her 200 free: 2:07.43, also dropped three seconds in her 500 free: 5:43.49, and broke the 20-minute mark in the mile swim: 19:53.72!  Her reaction time to the start has improved significantly over the course of the last month.  We cannot wait to see what she can bring to the team next year!

Hannah “Grizzles” Francis: the creator of the “TOTS” name of the sprint group, had one of the best reactions to her 100 breaststroke time upon touching the wall!  She could not believe that she dropped three seconds: 1:12.84!  It was the most genuinely happy/thrilled reaction!  Hannh also swam lifetime best times in the 50fly split of the 200 medley relay 29.7 and swam a best time in the 100 fly in the 400 medley relay: 1:07.53!  Hannah split a 27.29 in a 200 free relay split and swam 27.55 in her individual 50 free.  She also broke the 1-minute mark during the 400 free relay: 59.98!  Congratulations Hannah!


Robin Currens ’14, Ariel Orr ’13, Hayley Bezubka ’14, Hannah Francis ’16
Photo taken by: Helen Zhang

Rachael Gainer: member of the “TOTS” sprint group, approached the blocks with confident swagger- she was ready to race!  Gainer swam lifetime bests in all of her events!  She touched the wall in 27.28 seconds in the 50 freestyle, and almost broke a minute in the 100 freestyle: 1:00.06, which was also a lifetime best!  She obliterated her 200 free seed time of 2:23.33 and looked up to the clock to see 2:14.72!  Not to sound cliché, but Gainer showed up for every race.  What an amazing way to end your swimming career at Smith!

Christine “lil Radish” (Nickname given by Sophie Mettler-Grove) Hart: Alicia Keys wrote “Girl on Fire” for her.  WOW.  What a meet!  Christine may have been nervous on the inside, but it came out as pure excitement and desire to race her heart out.  She became a more aggressive, poised swimmer earning lifetime bests in the 50 free split of the 200 free relay: 26.42, 58.63 in the lead-off leg of the 400 free relay.  In her individual events, she dropped nine seconds in her 200 IM: 2:21.98, going out in 1:06.96.  Christine made the Consolation final in the 100 breaststroke and came in 15th: 1:09.49 (lifetime best time by two seconds and season best time by five seconds).  She also dropped six seconds in the 200 breaststroke, just missing the Consolation final by .5 seconds: 2:33.58.  If this is what Lil Radish can do her first year, there are incredible swims to come!


Photo taken by: Helen Zhang

Emily Lane: Tattooed with poetry across her biceps, flexed her “guns” before her races, she was completely excited and pumped up!  Emily dropped nine seconds from her lifetime best time last year: 5:11.51, swimming her butterfly leg very smoothly and holding onto good water.  Emily also swam lifetime bests in her 200 free leg of the 800 free relay: 2:08.35.  She dropped 14 seconds in her 500 freestyle time: 5:30.15, looking smooth, strong and powerful!  Her mile time was also incredible exciting: 19:08.56 holding 34 highs and 35 lows.  The 18 minutes are definitely foreseeable in her mile future next year!  Emily always gave 100% in all her races and in every practice/weight session; it definitely paid off!

Sophie “Swindle” Mettler-Grove: member of the “TOTS” group, consistent cheerer and encourager during meets and practices, also swam lifetime best times at Newmacs!  She had an incredible 50 freestyle time, 28.09, racing teammate Leah VanHoeve, with passion and vigor.  The entire team was jumping up and down during that race!  Sophie also dropped 1 ½ seconds in her 100 freestyle during the 400 free relay: 1:01.3!  Her individual 200 freestyle time improved by five seconds: 2:17.23!  Sophie’s spirit was continuously contagious throughout the year.  Her pep, drive, and silliness gave the wild bunch additional zest.  Keep being you, Soph!

Sabine “Bina” Milger: the happiest member of the group upon converting her yard times to meters, had an incredible experience at Newmacs!  She swam lifetime bests in her 50 freestyle: 27.24 (determined to beat her friends on the team), and destroyed the 1-minute mark in her 100 free: 58.80 (three second improvement).  She also dropped 1 ½ seconds in her 50 fly relay split, 30.22, and slashed 2 ½ seconds from her 100 fly: 1:08.00, building her 100 very nicely!  Determined to give the 200 fly one last shot, Bina swam in a time trials event on the last day, swimming it five seconds better: 2:39.5.  She was so proud that she was able to get back into swimming shape and swim even faster than she did in high school.  What a great season, Bina!


Photo taken by: Helen Zhang

Meri Millman- one of the most expressive, competitive swimmers, also a member of the “TOTS” sprint group, despite battling shoulder injury the entire season had a wonderful Newmacs!  She swam a lifetime best individual 50 freestyle: 26.54, executing her breakout wonderfully.  She also smashed her 100 freestyle time by two seconds: 57.94 in her individual swim and 57.63 in the 400 free relay!  Meri even took seven seconds off her 200 freestyle time: 2:07.49.  We are excited for her to keep rehabbing her shoulder over the summer so that she can keep working hard and improving next year.  Her desire and work ethic in the pool contributed to her great swims!  Go M&M!

Laura Nunnelly- the new Speedy Gonzalez of the backstroke group! Laura demonstrated her ability to bring speed and power to both her 50 backstroke and her 100 backstroke!  She swam a lifetime best time in her lead-off leg of the 200 medley relay: 30.77.  The lead-off leg in the 400 medley relay on Friday gave her confidence that she could swim even faster than her new lifetime best of 1:06.91, which she did in her individual swim: 1:05.41!!  Her start was very explosive and her turns were quick and aggressive! Laura also swam a lifetime best time in her 200 backstroke: 2:24.19 and took three seconds off her 200 IM: 2:26.88.  Congrats, Laura!

Ariel Orr- brought her own moving and grooving to the MIT pool; you knew Ariel was ready to go when she did a little shimmy or shake on her way up to the blocks.  To conclude her career as a Smith swimmer, Ariel bettered her lifetime best in her 50 free by a second, 27.11 in the 200 free relay, as well as in her 100 free split from the 400 free relay: 1:01.95!  Her quick turnover and drive shined through in her breaststroke leg of the 200 medley relay: 32.29 (lifetime best).  She also had a lifetime best split in her 100 breaststroke from the 400 medley relay: 1:10.21.  Ariel smashed her 200 breaststroke seed time by seven seconds: 2:35.85, for a lifetime best swim!  She had great length in each stroke and made sure to use her legs in the second half.  Ariel also had fabulous success in her 200 IM, swimming 2:29.60, eleven seconds from her seed time and a best time by four seconds!  On the last day, Ariel swam in time trials and attempted to swim another fastest individual 100 breaststroke.  While she replicated a 1:11, we were all pleased that she had the desire to better her time!  Her continued determination to work on all of the strokes in practice showed in this swim!  Your zest for cheering, dancing, and competition was an incredible addition to the team over the past four years.  What a fantastic last meet, Ariel!


Photo taken by: Helen Zhang

Alyssa Pascuzzo- the most creative name giver, strong like bull, tough as nails- swam season best and lifetime best races despite recovering from strep throat!  Alyssa split a 25.71 in the 200 free relay, which is almost a second better than her fastest relay split to date!  In her fly leg in the 200 Medley relay, she mustered up the power and determination and split a 27.44 as well.  On Saturday, she even swam a best time in her 100 fly: 1:02.09 (.7 better than her previous best time last year!)  Alyssa, this proves what the mind can help the body accomplish even when not at 100%.  There are no limits to what you can accomplish in the water next year!

Greta Stacy- animal and conqueror of all water sports, had an awesome first Newmacs!  In her leg of the 200 free relay, Greta’s tempo and hold on the water was incredible, 27.03 was her split!  She even almost broke a minute in her 100 free leg of the 400 free relay, 1:00.02.  Despite battling illness over winter break into mid-January, Greta’s determination and heart in her swimming overcame the small setback.  She also swam lifetime bests in her 100 backstroke: 1:08.51 (three second drop), 200 backstroke: 2:28.78 (seven second drop), and in the 200 IM 2:30.53- her lifetime best time by three seconds.  We are so glad that you decided to swim this winter! What a first season!


Vanessa McFarlane giving Ayla Staelin-Lefsky a congratulatory hug!
Photo taken by: Helen Zhang

Ayla Staelin-Lefsky, “A-Money”, decided from training day one that she was going to challenge herself even more this year.  Ayla was a completely different swimmer this year.  She continuously rose to the occasion during the challenges throughout the year; she swam lifetime best times early on in the year.  At Newmacs, Ayla swam powerfully, and intelligently.  She dropped eight seconds in her 500 freestyle on day one, splitting a season best time in her 200 free as well: 6:08.8!  The next day, having confidence that she could swim 2:21 comfortably as a 200 split in a longer race, Ayla bested that time with a 2:19.38, swimming a 1:06.77 in the first 100 yards.  Her 1650 free was another lifetime best: 20:50.45 (23 second drop!)- the side of the pool was lined with Smith swimmers cheering her on!  Keep up the excellent work, Ayla!

Kelsey Swensen- rocker of the drag suits and temporary tattooed biceps, guardian of Bobby Joe, Jeeves, and another animal I forget the name of, had an incredible last Newmacs!  Her continuous rehab and strengthening of her shoulders were a key factor in her training this year.  Kelsey’s establishment of her pacing during her races were spot on for her races at Newmacs!  Kelsey swam a best time in her 500 freestyle by five seconds, swimming 5:36.87.  She looked strong, solid and pushed herself during every race!  Similar to Ayla, swimming her 200 split in 2:12 gave her confidence for her 200 freestyle race the next day, in which she swam 2:09.69, competing with Kyle and Claire in the same heat.  Nervous and excited for her mile on the last day, Kelsey consistently held 1:10s over the entire race, swimming her fastest mile: 19:13.10.  Kelsey’s energy, positivity, and passion were apparent every day of the season.  Congratulations on all the hard work paying off, Kelsey!  Best of luck with your open water swim this summer!


Photo taken by: Helen Zhang

Sarah Tucker: outgoing, confident, excited, and diligent worker had her best year at the Newmacs!  To start the meet, she blew away her best 50 free time in her leg of the 200 free relay: 27.73.  On a roll, she continued her lifetime bests into her 200 IM: 2:29.14, three seconds better from her 2011 Newmac best times!  Knowing this, she was ready to swim her backstroke events the next day.  Sarah swam a 31.76, her personal best backstroke lead-off leg in the 200 medley relay.  Her speed gave her the juice necessary to have another lifetime best time in her 100 backstroke: 1:08.05!  Sarah even swam the 100 backstroke in time trials the next day attempting to get in the 1:07s- while she swam a consistent 1:08 low, she was still thrilled that she made the attempt.  We are so proud of you Sarah! She continued to drop time in her 200 backstroke: 2:26:18, four seconds better than her seed time.  Sarah also had a fastest 100 free split in the 400 free relay: 1:01.2.  Congratulations on all of your best times- well deserved, Sarah!

And last, but not least, Leah VanHoeve: wearer of super awesome green monster intimidation cap, overcame foot injuries throughout the year, also had one of the best reactions to her 100 breaststroke swim!  Leah started off her first Newmacs swimming the 50 free with teammate Sophie- and rocked it: 28.11, which was a best time by 1 ½ seconds!  In the 200 medley relay the next day, Leah split a 33.66 in her breaststroke leg, which gave her confidence going into her 100 breaststroke later that morning.  Upon touching the wall after her 100 breaststroke, Leah glanced up at the clock, 1:13.7 (four second drop), got out of the pool, and with the BEST tears of joy, hugged her fellow breaststrokers.  Leah also had a great 200 breaststroke: 2:43.15 (two second improvement).  Leah’s work ethic and intense desire to do her best at every meet were commendable throughout the season.  Great job, Leah!

Overall, the coaches were tremendously pleased with and proud of the divers and swimmers at NEWMACs.  The entire team continuous to represent themselves and the school with respect, pride and camaraderie- something that makes the Smith College swimming and diving team truly special.

Congratulations to all the seniors for your leadership, commitment, and positivity for the past four years.

We cannot wait to watch and cheer for CeCe Arrison and Jenika Parson at the Regional NCAA Diving qualification meet this weekend.


2 Comments leave one →
  1. Karen B permalink
    March 5, 2013 10:00 am

    Awesome job, Wild Bunch!
    Karen B

  2. Linda kulik permalink
    February 23, 2013 4:30 pm

    Great Newmac meet!!!! Go CeCe and Jenika!!!!!WoooHoooo!!! Go Smith!

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