COLLEGEVILLE, Minn. – Senior Grace Cormier (Rockford, Ill./Boylan Catholic) was first to the wall in two races and classmate Sophie Pilhofer (Inver Grove Heights, Minn./Visitation) figured in four other victories, yet the Carleton College women’s swimming and diving team could not overcome the College of Saint Benedict, who won Saturday’s dual meet, 174-119.
“The character and resolve of this team really showed today, facing another talented team in the MIAC and not giving in to any race throughout a long day of competition,” said Carleton head coach Andy Clark. “The competitive integrity of this group to rise up and race hard was outstanding despite feeling the fatigue from the night before.
“At this point in the season, when their bodies are broken down from training, having the mental resolve to push even harder is exactly the type of tenacity that we need to see and that is exactly what we got. From the coaching side, we were all proud of the efforts and the enthusiasm that these ladies showed toward racing today, and this is exactly the type of momentum we need for the rest of this season.”
Cormier sliced through the water to a 1:04.23 finish in the 100-yard backstroke and completed the 200-yard individual medley at 2:18.37, just 0.11 seconds from her season best.
Pilhofer took first in the 50-yard freestyle at 24.83, the 100-yard freestyle at 54.42, and the 100-yard butterfly at 1:01.52. She also opened the Knights’ victorious 200-yard freestyle relay with a split of 24.93 which her teammates extended into a three-second win at 1:40.67. Joining Pilhofer on the relay were Milana Socha (Jr./Chesterton, Ind./Chesterton), first-year Madison McBride (Elko, Minn./Lakeville South) and Erin McDuffie (Sr./Anchorage, Alaska/Service).
Lydia Henderson (Fy./Castro Valley, Calif./Castro Valley) dove to first place in the 3-meter diving event, her first collegiate win.
McDuffie was tabbed as the squad’s swimmer-of-the-meet after adding season bests in the 50 freestyle (25.60), 200 freestyle (2:01.92), and 500 freestyle when she touched the wall in 5:32.96.
Overall, the Knights had 24 season-best times during today’s meet after totaling 45 during last night’s competition against Gustavus.
The Knights have two weeks before their next meet, which will be the final dual meet of the season. Carleton travels across town to face St. Olaf College at 11:00 a.m. on Jan. 26.