Swim and Dive falls to Old Dominion on senior day

Mimi Watts sets new pool record in the women’s 100-yard freestyle

Swim and Dive falls to Old Dominion on senior day

The American University Swimming and Diving team faced the Old Dominion Monarchs in their meet on Saturday, Jan. 21. The Monarchs’ women’s team won by a score of 159-112, and the men’s team won by a score of 179-92

The Eagles kicked off their final home meet of the season by recognizing the six graduating senior swimmers and team manager. Friends and family gathered in the Reeves Aquatic Center while others looked on from Bender Arena to send the seniors off and cheer the Eagles on as they faced the Monarchs.

“These seniors mean a lot to the program. They’ve been through a coaching transition, they’ve been through two COVID years, and they have really set the foundation for this program for what it is today and on the upward trajectory that we’re on.” head coach Garland Bartlett said.

The women’s 400-yard medley relay team started the meet with a bang for the Eagles as the group of freshman Sophia Hemingway, senior Kenzie Cresci, junior Mimi Watts and sophomore Marissa Kleckner finished more than seven seconds faster than ODU. Watts continued dominating in the women’s 100-yard freestyle by recording a time of 51.43 seconds. Watts’ time took down the 24-year-old record by just eight-tenths of a second. 

Watts just kept winning, beating out her competitors again in the women’s 50-yard butterfly with a time of 25.14. Junior Nick Buckley completed the sweep of the event by winning the men’s 50-yard butterfly with a time of 23.30 seconds. Buckley also won the men's 50-yard freestyle in 21.01 seconds, nearly beating his own school record.

American swept the one-meter dive event, as junior Amanda Bosses and sophomore Griffin Batt were the only competitors and the winners.

Watts’ relay teammate Cresci secured the win in the women’s 50-yard breaststroke with a time of 30.40 seconds, and her counterpart on the men’s side, sophomore Will Deitch, won his 50-yard breaststroke in 26.51 seconds. Later, freshman Katie Yoo crushed the women's 400-yard individual medley, winning with a time of 4:39.38 — a time nine seconds faster than the second place finisher’s.

In the penultimate race of the day, Watts and the Eagles once again found themselves in the winning lane with the women's 200-yard free relay. The team included Kleckner, freshman Avery Barber, junior Maddie Mara and Watts. Watts anchored the team to victory with a photo-finish win just eight-tenths of a second ahead of ODU.

“Right now we’re at the peak of our training, yardage-wise and then also in the weight room, so we’re going to start to slowly taper down and look to fine tune some things and be ready for the conference championships in three weeks,” Bartlett said.

The Eagles will next travel to Bucknell for the Patriot League Championships beginning Wednesday Feb. 15. 

This article was edited by Delaney Hoke and Nina Heller. Copy editing by Natasha LaChac, Sophia Rocha and Isabelle Kravis.


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