NORTHFIELD, Minn. – Although it was Senior Day for the Carleton College women’s swimming and diving team, it was first-year Maria Wetzel (Salem, Ore./West Salem) who stole the spotlight, winning three events—including a Thorpe Pool record in the 200-yard individual medley—as the Knights faced off against Northfield rival St. Olaf College on Saturday.
Prior to the meet, which the Oles won 170-122, the 14 seniors on the Knights’ rosters were recognized during a special ceremony.
Wetzel posted Carleton’s first win of the day as she notched an extremely narrow triumph in the 100-yard backstroke, touching the wall with a time of 59.54. That provided a 0.05 second margin of victory over the Oles’ Abbey Schnaith.
Wetzel’s teammate senior Milana Socha (Chesterton, Ind./Chesterton) touched first for the Knights in the 50-yard freestyle, completing the distance in 24.51 for a 0.7-second margin of victory. Socha won again in the 100-yard freestyle, this time besting Schanith by nearly 0.8 seconds.
Wetzel bookended Socha’s sweep of the freestyle sprints victory with a first-place result in the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 2:08.59. While Wetzel was unable to better her own pool record in that event, she smashed the previous Thorpe Pool standard in the 200 IM with a time of 2:12.27. That proved to be nearly a second and a half better than the longest standing pool record for the women, bettering the mark established by Gustavus’ Andrea Kleven back in 2001.
For her efforts throughout the meet, Wetzel was honored with the Knights’ “Can of Corn” award that goes to the swimmer-of-the-meet.
Alex Braiedy (Fy./Chanhassen, Minn./Minnetonka) and Brittany Salazar (So./San Francisco, Calif./San Francisco Waldorf) also performed well in the 200-yard freestyle, coming in second and third with times of 2:02.64 and 2:02.98, respectively. Braiedy also added a second-place finish in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 1:03.72.
The Knights concluded the afternoon’s competition with a victory in the 200 freestyle relay thanks to the efforts of Socha, Braiedy, Madison McBride (So./Elko, Minn./Lakeville South), and Alexandra Guy (Jr./Denver, Colo./Denver School of the Arts).
The Knights will face the Oles once again, along with other MIAC rivals, in less than a week when they head to the Conference Invite held at University of St. Thomas on Friday, Jan. 31 through Saturday, Feb. 1. Racing begins at 6:00 p.m. on day one and continues at 12:00 p.m. on day two.