AU swimming struggles to keep up with Georgetown in final home meet
Program honors departing seniors, looks ahead to conference championships in February.
A combination of nostalgia and frustration filled Reeves Aquatic Center Friday night as the AU swim team honored six departing seniors in the season’s final home meet but ultimately struggled to make a strong showing against visiting Georgetown. Both the women’s and men’s teams were dominated by the Hoyas, with the men losing 158-71 while the women were defeated 133-105.
“We knew it was going to be a tough meet because [AU swimmers] had just completed a really hard week of training, doing doubles everyday,” assistant coach Beth O’Connor Baker said. “We knew there was a pretty good chance they were going to be tired, and so some of them swam tired.”
Despite the setbacks, O’Connor Baker stressed the highlights of the night, including standout performances from senior Paris Wood, junior Kilian Korth and sophomore Liam Bond. Wood and Korth matched each other event for event, with each notching first-place finishes in the 200-yard freestyle and 100-yard backstroke. In addition, Bond swam a personal season best time in the 200 individual medley, timing in at 2:08.34.
The women’s team also received boosts from sophomore Tori Haviland, junior Caylee Watson and sophomore diver Fiona Caulfield. Haviland placed second in both the 200 freestyle and 500 freestyle while Watson earned a second-place finish in the 50 freestyle, clocking in at 24.92 seconds. Meanwhile, at Georgetown, Caulfield took first place in the 3 meter diving event.
“We had some unbelievable swims, some best-of-season times,” O’Connor-Baker said. “I know that Liam Bond had a best in-season time by two seconds in the 200 IM. He was really excited. We had Kilian [Korth] and people like Paris [Wood]. The people who we really expected to see step up and race did.”
With a little over a month to go before the Patriot League Championships Feb. 17-20, O’Connor Baker said the meet represented a chance for the Eagles to get back into race mode and recognize opportunities for improvement.
“It’s been awhile since we had a meet, so I think that getting them back into race mode is important,” O’Connor Baker said. “One thing that Georgetown was very good at was their dives and their under-waters in the break-outs off the walls. That’s the kind of thing that we’re always trying to promote in practice -- to flip fast and get off those walls fast. I see the difference, I see them being more focused on that, but we need to embrace it, big time.”
Before the team can focus on the conference meet, two dual meets await them in January. The Eagles will meet George Mason and Army West Point on Jan. 23 and compete at the Navy Invitational on Jan. 30.
“With me going back and watching the video with these athletes in the next week or two, it will be very enlightening,” O’Connor Baker said. “It will help them to really see where there might have been some areas for them to improve on, from a technical standpoint. It’s a work in progress, and hopefully by the time that our conference meet comes around we’ll be ready to go.”