Team dives headfirst into an exciting season
The Brandeis University swimming and diving team has had a great season so far. For the past month and a half, they have been travelling and competing against teams from across the country and have shined as a team. Here is how their season has gone so far.
Most recently, both the women’s and men’s teams competed in a meet at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. The Judges beat Babson, 201-69, and later Smith College, 203.5-92.5. But they failed to beat host school WPI, losing 197-96, and were narrowly defeated by Simmons 159.5-134.5, bringing their overall record to 2-5. The Brandeis men fell to WPI, 163-116, and Babson, 139.5-122.5, leaving them with an overall record of 2-3. Richard Selznick ’21 continued his dominant season by remaining undefeated in distance freestyle events. The Judges also picked up two more wins on the women’s side. Gazelle Umbay ’22 won the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 2:18.01. Claire Xu ’22 barely edged her runner up in the 400-yard individual medley. She won by only 0.04 seconds with a time of 4:53.28.
The men’s and women’s squads played in a team match against Wheaton College. This game had an extra special feeling of importance, as Wheaton is both the alma mater and the last coaching destination of current Brandeis swimming and diving’s head coach Nicole Carter. In the end, it was a split decision, with the men winning 9 out of 11 events in their 128-77 victory and the women losing 10 of 11 events in a 134–69 defeat. This improved the men’s record to 2–1 on the season, while the women fell to 0–3. The men’s team had five different athletes take wins, including three swimmers who won two races apiece. Selznick won the 1000 and 500 freestyle with flying colors, leaving multiple seconds between him and his opponents. Daniel Wohl ’21 also won twice, in the 50 freestyle and 100 breaststroke. Chase Chen ’21 continued the sophomore salvo with freestyle wins in the 100 and the 200. Brandon Lu ’22 and Matthew Acemont ’20 picked up the other two wins for the Judges. The women’s team had their only individual win when Kylie Herman ’19 won the 500 freestyle by an astounding 26 seconds.
The men’s and women’s teams picked up a split decision versus Vassar College as part of a larger dual meet with Vassar College and Hartwick College. The men were victorious over Vassar, winning 169–93, while the women’s woes worsened in their 168–98 loss. The men’s victory was the first for new head coach Carter. Wohl had three individual wins, including one that was a record for the Vassar pool. Selznick picked up two of his own in a weekend sweep of the freestyle events. Benjamin Francis ’21 won the 100-yard backstroke, his first collegiate win. Chen won the 50 free with a time of 22.56 seconds, and Lu won the 200 breaststroke with a mark of 2:16.40. The Judges also took the 200 medley and 400 free, proving their strength in relays. The women did not fare as well, having no individual wins, but Xu, Herman, and Umbay had multiple top five performances each.
The men’s and women’s teams won 12 out of the 32 events at Hartwick College, but unfortunately, each lost the overall team scores. The women picked up four wins. Xu had three individual wins: the 50 backstroke, 100 backstroke and 200 individual medley. Herman also won the 200 women’s free. On the men’s side, Tamir Zeitley ’20 won the 100 butterfly and 100 back. Selznick had two wins as well, the 500 and 1000 freestyle races. Wohl joined the two-win party himself, capturing the 100 and 200 freestyles. Acemont won the 50 butterfly and Lu won the 200 IM.
The Brandeis University swim and dive team kicked off their season with a unique pentathlon meet at Roger Williams University. As explained by brandeisjudges.com, “The unique event sees each swimmer on each team swim 100 yards each of all four strokes: butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke and freestyle, as well as a 100-yard individual medley. The swimmer with the fastest cumulative time is crowned the winner.” Xu was the overall winner for the women with a cumulative time of 5:32.76. Herman finished fourth. On the men’s side, Zeitely won the event after placing second his freshman and sophomore years, winning four out of the five races.
This swimming and diving season will be worth watching. Both teams are poised to continue the success they have had in their meets thus far. Make sure to see them next when they take on Bentley on Friday at home.