This past weekend, members of the Bates swimming and diving team competed in Indianapolis at the Division III NCAA National Championships. Both the men’s and women’s teams had great performances by the athletes in attendance. There were a total of eleven swimmers that were selected to compete: six women and five men. From the women’s team: Caroline Apathy ’21, Janika Ho ’20 (her second NCAA’s), Monica Sears ’20 (her second), Lucy Faust ’19 (her second), Hope Logan ’18 (her second), and Logan McGill ’18 (her fourth). For the men: Tanner Fuller ’20 (his first NCAAs), Alex Bedard ’19 (his first), Jonathan Depew ’18 (his second), Teddy Pender ’18 (his third), and Riley Ewing ’18 (his fourth).
For the women’s team, they finished with 76 points, 12th place out of 51 teams. The most notable event was the 400-yard freestyle relay. This team consisted of McGill, Apathy, Sears, and Ho. The squad was able to secure a slot in the eight-team field for the final by inching out Wesleyan in the trial, swimming at 3:26:88 and winning by .37 seconds. Then, in the final itself, the relay team came in sixth place with a time of 3:26:39. This finish established a new program record for the 400-yard freestyle relay.
Other notable performances from the women’s team came from Sears and Apathy. Sears finished in 27th place with a time of 17:40:93 in the 1,650-yard freestyle, while Apathy raced in the 100-yard freestyle, coming in 38th with a time of 52:61. Perhaps most notable are the accomplishments of McGill. For her role on the women’s relay team mentioned above, she earned All-America honors for the 13th time in her Bates career, the second-most in team history and the third-most of all Bates athletes. Overall, the women’s team has now finished in the top-13 in points for three consecutive years.
There were also impressive feats performed by the men’s team, as they completed their best finish in the team’s history, scoring 48 points to secure 14th place out of the 53 teams. Fuller, Depew, Bedard, and Pender competed together in the 400-yard freestyle relay, breaking two team records. On this success, Pender says, “I’ve learnt that NCAAs is an experience to be shared with your teammates. Not only knowing that I’ve got four guys cheering for me on poolside, but also 20 more back home watching is what makes it low stress and much easier to perform at our best.” Bedard also competed in the 200-yard breaststroke, placing 24th with 2:04:78.
Notable career performances for the men came from Pender, Ewing, and Depew. Depew finishes his Bates career with five All-America honors, while Ewing secured seven. Pender, over the course of his time at Bates, finishes with eleven, setting a new record among Bates male athletes. On NCAAs in general, he says, “This year’s NCAAs was the highlight of my swimming career. It’s always so much fun to participate with my teammates at the highest level in our sport.” Now that these seniors’ careers have come to an end, Pender says, “Our careers as athletes who score points for the college might be over, but our job supporting, cheering, and helping the team in the future starts now, and I know we’re all excited to see the program continue to go from strength to strength.”