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Swim teams fall in final regular meet of season

Junior Phillip Graeter charges down the pool earlier this season. | Hatchet File Photo

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Mary Ellen McIntire.

The swimming teams headed to District-rival George Mason seeking a successful cap to the season’s competition, but neither returned victorious, falling in the final meet before postseason league competition.

The Colonials took to the pool for their last meet of the regular season Saturday, with both the men’s and women’s team falling to Mason 162-127 and 179-108, respectively. Both teams finished the day with 17 top-three finishes. Despite the finish, head coach Dan Rhinehart was proud of his teams’ performances in light of the illness that’s swept through the rosters.

“We had a number of strong swings today– and, considering that we’ve had something like a 24-hour ‘bug’ running through the team– we performed well,” Rhinehart said.

Junior Phillip Graeter led the men’s team with two first place finishes in the 200-yard butterfly and the 200-yard backstroke. Freshman Garrett Cottingham and senior Marshall Seedorff also placed first in both the 100-yard backstroke and the 50-yard freestyle, respectively.

Graeter, Cottingham, Seedorff and junior Alex Etz opened the meet with the 200-yard medley relay, placing second with a time of 1:36.73. Junior Luke Quimby snagged a first-place finish in the 100 free in 47.56 seconds. Quimby also helped the 400-yard freestyle relay team close the meet with a first-place finish, along with Seedorff, sophomore Niccolo Wilson and junior Niklas Glenesk.

“We are still in what we refer to as our ‘hard training’ part of our season,” Rhinehart said. “They are all swimming pretty tired right now– but still stepping up when asked to.”

The women’s team claimed the top three spots in the 200-yard breaststroke, with sophomore Rachael Johnston placing first, sophomore Remy Neville placing second and sophomore Emily Kane coming in third. Johnston also won the 100-yard breaststroke in 1:09.57. Neville placed third with a time of 1:09.84.

Sophomore Erica Becker swam a season-best time of 10:50.51 in the 1,000-yard freestyle. Freshman Janica Lee placed second and third in the 200-yard free and the 50-yard free, respectively. The 200-yard medley relay, composed of Johnson and fellow sophomore Lindsay Moore, along with freshmen Morgan Zebley and Sloan Saunders grabbed a second-place finish.

“I feel good about that,” Rhinehart said, referring to the team battling through grueling training schedules to compete. “If we were swimming lifetime bests right now, I’d be a little more concerned.”

Despite the disappointing end to regular competition, GW looks to shift its focus to the league tournament about a month from now, when the Colonials head to the Atlantic 10 Championships Feb. 22 in Buffalo, N. Y.

“We have a few more days of ‘hard training’ before we begin our rest. We let the body recover from our hard work and fine tune the little things that will make a difference when we get to the A-10s,” Rhinehart said.

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