NORTHFIELD, Minn. – The Carleton College women’s swimming and diving team wrapped up its dual meet portion of the season at St. Olaf College, and it is fitting that the seniors led the way. Sophie Pilhofer (Sr./Inver Grove Heights, Minn./Visitation) won three events, including leading off Carleton 200-yard freestyle relay team that took first in 1:40.21. Pilhofer was first to the wall in the 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard butterfly, finishing off the competition in 24.35 and 1:01.1, respectively. Despite those results, the Oles proved too strong in their home pool, posting a 207.5-89.5 decision.
“Competing against one of the top teams in the MIAC and in the country is no easy task, physically or mentally, but I was proud of the positive attitudes and outstanding efforts we witnessed throughout the entire meet,” said Carleton head coach Andy Clark. “There is no better meet for our teams to end their dual meet season than this one. St. Olaf is a program we deeply respect, both at the coaching and athlete levels, because they are not only fiercely competitive but are also great sports, always showing humility and gratitude toward our athletes.
Like Pilhofer, senior Grace Cormier (Rockford, Ill./Boylan Catholic) showed similar endurance in the face of tough opposition. Cormier wedged herself between two Oles to take second in both the 100-yard backstroke (1:04.15) and 200-yard individual medley (2:18.29). She also finished second to Pilhofer in the 100 fly at 1:03.64.
Fellow senior Molly Spence (Tacoma, Wash./Woodrow Wilson) pulled second from the 500 free, coming just six seconds behind the winner in 5:34.34. Anne Richardson (Sr./Red Wing, Minn.) was awarded the team’s “Can of Corn” award for her season-best times in the 50 and 100 free and tenacious finishes to her races.
“This meet was also special this year because it gave us the chance to recognize and thank our senior class for giving us four wonderful and amazing years of swimming and diving,” said Clark. “Each of our seniors has given so much to our program, and whether it was through their prowess on the boards or in the water, they gave us four exciting years, and they each have made a significant impact on our team.”
Other highlights for the senior class included Erin McDuffie (Sr./Anchorage, Alaska/Service) swimming the anchor leg of the victorious 200 free relay, and Rose Prullage (Sr./Evanston, Ill./Evanston Township) being Carleton’s top finisher in the 400-yard individual medley and 200-yard breaststroke.
The Knights will begin the taper portion of their schedule when they next compete at the University of St. Thomas Conference Invitational on February 1-2. The MIAC Championships will be held two weeks later at the University of Minnesota Aquatics Center.