By Maegan White
Elm Staff Writer
The Shoremen swim team placed first out of eight teams at the Yellow Jacket Invitational in Richmond, Va. The team lost by three points last year but took first by over 100 points this season.
The Yellow Jacket Invitational is the mid-season meet for the Shoremen. It takes place over two days and three sessions. The team competed against six other division-three schools and one division-two school. The Shoremen’s victory at this meet is a strong indication of their performance thus far in the season and sets them up well for the Centennial Conference Championships that will take place in the spring semester.
Senior captain Gage Mandrell secured six first-place finishes. Three of the wins were in relays and the other three were individual events which included the 200 yard freestyle, 200 yard backstroke, and 200 yard Individual Medley (IM).
Junior Bianti Danaj and sophomore Zach Affeldt placed in the top five in all three of their individual events. Affeldt was third in the 200 yard IM, fourth in the 100 yard breaststroke, and fifth in the 200 yard breaststroke.
Danaj secured second in the 100 yard freestyle and 100 yard butterfly. He took fourth in the 50 freestyle. Danaj also improved his rankings in the top all-time Washington College program times in the 100 butterfly and the 100 freestyle, ranking second and seventh respectively.
Sophomore Chase Hensen finished second in the 100 breaststroke and third in the 200 yard breaststroke.
Sophomores CJ Dunker, Jack Poleto, and William Schmidt and junior Justin Morris each placed in the top five for one event. Poleto finished fifth in the 500 yard freestyle. Dunker and Schmidt took fourth in the 1,650 yard freestyle and the 100 backstroke respectively. Morris, in addition to taking third in the 400 yard IM, is now ranked fifth in WC all-time top times in the same event.
Four out of the five Shoremen relays finished first. Mandrell, Danaj, Schimdt, and Hensen composed the 200 yard freestyle. The first place 400 medley relay was made up of Mandrell, Hensen, Danaj, and junior Justin Fitzpatrick. The 200 medley relay consisted of Schmidt, Hensen, Fitzpatrick, and Danaj. The final top placing relay was in the 800 freestyle relay which was made of Poleto, Affeldt, Morris, and Mandrell.
The 400 freestyle relay, composed of Mandrell, Danaj, Schmidt, and Hensen took second in the 400 freestyle relay, behind Frostburg State University by half a second.
According to Mandrell, one of the team’s goals for the season was to win this meet. The team’s training and work thus far led to their victory.
“I thought the guys team performed very well this weekend. We came into the season with the goal to win this midseason meet and make up for the mistakes we made last year. It really goes to show that our training is paying off and we are making strides as a program,” Mandrell said.
According to Mandrell, the team is headed to the Florida Keys for a training trip in early January where they will prepare for the rest of the season. “Our toughest weeks of training are ahead and this just gives us some extra motivation moving forward,” Mandrell said.
The Shoremen will not compete again until Jan. 21 against Ursinus College at home. It will be the final home meet of the season where they celebrate the Shoremen seniors.
Photo courtesy of Justin Fitzpatrick
Photo Caption: Freshman breaststroker Joey Bonds preparing to race.