The men’s and women’s swimming and diving team will cap off a remarkable 2017-18 season by sending 11 Bobcats to the NCAA Division III Championships set to take place March 21-24 at the IUPUI Natatorium in Indianapolis. On both the men’s and the women’s teams, there are Bobcats who will be making their NCAA debut and those that will be returning to the national stage for their fourth consecutive year.
“I am proud of my team for being so positive throughout the rough parts of this sport; it makes the season more fun and happy,” says Caroline Apathy ’21 of Devon, Pennsylvania. “Just continuing training and doing what we’ve been doing will help us get ready for the meet. I’ve thought about having this chance and I’m excited and honored to represent Bates at NCAAs.”
“This year was a tighter group and everyone had each other’s back,” says Alex Bedard ’19 of Amherst, New Hampshire. “We are prepared for NCAAs by keeping the high energy from NESCACs and keeping the excitement for the next few weeks.”
The women’s team will be sending six athletes to the NCAA championships. These swimmers include: Apathy, Lucy Faust ’19, Janika Ho ’20, Monica Sears ’20, Hope Logan ’18, and Logan McGill ’18.
“My goals are to just have fun and enjoy Indy,” says Apathy. “I’ve swam here before and I haven’t seen the new renovations, so I’m looking forward to seeing the pool and hanging out with my team.”
“NCAAs is really a whole different ball game from the rest of the season. There are some incredibly talented swimmers in DIII, so it’s always fun to watch and learn from them,” says McGill. “For my final NCAAs, I’m mostly looking to enjoy the experience and take in everything I can one last time. I also want to focus on the relays I’m in, since those score a lot of points, but are also hands down the most fun.”
On the men’s side, there will be a record five swimmers attending the meet in Indianapolis. These Bobcats include Alex Bedard ’19, Jonathan Depew ’18, Riley Ewing ’18, Tanner Fuller ’20, and Teddy Pender ’18.
“As this is my first time making it to NCAAs, I am really just excited to be going,” says Bedard. “I’m really excited to be going with a large team, too, and to be able to share the experience with each other. That being said, I am going to go to the meet and not count anything out and still give it my all.”
“NCAAs is always an incredible experience and I’m honored to have this opportunity again. Going into this meet, I would love to finish top 16 for at least the 100 backstroke and 200 backstroke as well finish top 8 in our two medley relays,” Ewing says. “However, I’m mostly just looking to have fun this meet! It will likely be my last time competing in the sport that I have dedicated over a decade and a half to!”
For both teams, relays will be the focus. The 200 free relay team – Apathy, Ho, Logan, and Mcgill – is seeded 12th overall. The same group of women are seeded 14th in the 200 medley relay and 21st in the 400 medley relay. The 400 free relay team of Apathy, Ho, McGill, and Sears is seeded 17th.
On the men’s side, the 400 medley relay team of Ewing, Bedard, Pender, and Fuller is seeded 14th. Depew will be anchoring the men’s 200 medley relay team with Ewing starting and Bedard and Pender swimming the middle legs. This 200 medley relay team is seeded 15th.
The individual swimmers include Apathy, Sears, Ewing, Bedard, and Pender. Apathy is seeded fifth in the 100-yard butterfly and 56th in the 50 free. Sears is the 25th seed for the 200 freestyle and the 27th seed for the 1,650-yard freestyle. Ewing is seeded ninth in the 200 backstroke, 22nd in the 100 backstroke, and 36th in the 100 butterfly. Finally, Bedard is 26th in the 200 breaststroke and Pender is seeded 28th in the 100 freestyle.
“The next couple weeks, we will begin to focus on race development again. It’s a quick turnaround from conferences to NCAAs but every year the team is able to improve on records set at conferences,” says Ewing. “NCAA’s is always an incredible experience and I’m honored to have this opportunity again. It is fun being up against the best in the nation, representing Bates.”