By Taylor Konyk
Elm Staff Writer
In a season of ups and downs the Washington College Shorewomen secured a routine victory over the Bryn Mawr Owls in dominating fashion. Winning 123-79, the Shorewomen swam with purpose.
Despite having Bryn Mawr’s number over the years, the Shorewomen desperately needed a win to keep morale high after losing to St. Mary’s one week prior.
Desperation is a funny thing in sports. As pressure builds, some teams break while others don’t. Clearly, the Shorewomen understood they had a job to do against the Owls and executed their game plan perfectly.
“The atmosphere on the deck was excited,” said junior captain Ellie Miskiel who won both the 200 meter IM and the 100 Yard breaststroke for a combined 18 points.
“In years past, Bryn Mawr has always been an easy win for us and we have not lost to them in my four years,” said senior captain Sarah Sykes.
Don’t misinterpret the ladies’ pride for hubris.
“We are a much smaller team this year than years past, but meets like Bryn Mawr prove that a small team can accomplish big things when we work together,” said Sykes.
The Shorewomen’s lack of team size has been a disadvantage all season, despite harboring some talent and great work ethic. Regardless, the ladies capitalized knowing they stood a great chance against a less challenging opponent.
One of their most talented swimmers, senior Allison Kvien, has been forced into a new role as the team’s new 1,000 meter freestyler.
Kvien took to the blocks and smoked her competition by nearly 20 seconds.
“I had never [swum] the 1,000 until about two weeks prior,” said Kvien, talking about her flexibility as a swimmer to fill a new role. “I [felt] the pressure to win the race because we haven’t lost to Bryn Mawr in years… and I knew it would be closer than it ever has been.”
Closer—due to team size, not heart.
“I think this season the women’s team has proven that we are tougher than our numbers indicate,” said Kvien. “Our girls have been swimming with a lot of heart and determination.”
So in the end, the Shorewomen seized the day. Had they lost, the women would have found themselves in a losing streak. To make matters worse, their streak would have extended to three due to the recent Franklin & Marshall loss.
Instead they won a meet that many picked them to win, and while it’s easier to dominate a team that is weaker, the pressure of losing to a weak team in some senses evens the playing field.
Therefore, the win versus Bryn Mawr can be viewed in a few different ways. First, it can be viewed as business as usual, because they were always supposed to beat Bryn Mawr. Or, it can be viewed as a great team win, because a small team leaned on each other when their backs were against the wall.
If you ask any of the women who swam that meet, surely they will choose the latter—whether they admit it or not.
And why shouldn’t they? They’re swimming with a new playbook by swimming races they’ve never attempted before—and winning.
As the season gets into full swing they will look to continue that trend.