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Swim teams 'closer than ever' to power Conn. College

LEWISTON, Maine -- The Bates men's and women's swimming and diving teams couldn't quite defeat perennial NESCAC power Connecticut College on Saturday, but both squads came closer than ever in a Tarbell Pool tri-meet that also included Wellesley College.

The visiting Camels men's team outscored the Bates men 169.5-110.5, while the Camel women defeated the Bobcats by a 167-127 score. The Bates women defeated Wellesley 160-139.

The Bates men started out the meet with a rousing, come-from-behind win in the 400-yard medley relay, with senior Nathaniel Depew (Hudson, Ohio), senior Dan Aupi (Branford, Conn.), first-year Matthew Gagne (Winnetka, Ill.) and senior Tom Boniface (Youngstown, Ohio) finishing in 3:36.61, more than two seconds ahead of the Camels. "Gagne and Boniface both seized the moment and showed how tough they can be," said Bates head coach Peter Casares.

Other men's team's highlights from the meet:

  • Aupi went on to win the 200 freestyle in 1:49.31 and demonstrated outstanding versatility with a strong third in the 100 breast (1:03.06).
  • Gagne finished second in the 100 fly (52.09) and in the 50 fly (24.10).
  • Boniface took second place in the 50 free (22.32).
  • First-year Andrew Briggs (York, Maine) came in second in the 50 breast (29.42).
  • Junior captain Travis Jones (Ithaca, N.Y.) was the sole men's diver for the day, posting an impressive score of 272.50 points at 1 meter and 242.85 points at 3 meters.
  • Senior Matt Lipoff (Glencoe, Ill.) placed second in the 100 free in 50.53.
  • Junior Andrew Buehler (Kenilworth, Ill.) took second in the 400 individual medley (4:27.26).

"We've never been this close [to Connecticut College] before -- even with a couple of injuries to key men on the team," said Casares. "Dan Aupi continues to have a fantastic season."

Junior Catherine Sparks (New Canaan, Conn.) won the 50 breaststroke in 31.24, slicing .60 seconds off the pool record she broke in January. Sparks also swam the fastest leg of the 200 free relay, splitting her best 50 free of her career, drawing praise from Casares.

Casares also singled out women's team senior captain Abigail Hanson (Sudbury, Mass.) and sophomore Emily Depew (Hudson, Ohio) as both having a "fantastic meet. Conn's depth was too much for us today, but we're getting closer each year." Hanson took third place in both the 500 free (5:20.31) and 1,000 free (10:52.45), while Depew finished fourth in the 500 free (5:22.94) and fourth in the 200 free (2:01.36).

Other highlights from the women's team included:

  • Sophomore Emilie Geissinger (Bismarck, N.D.) placed second in the 50 free (25.89), and recorded the best time in the 200-yard time trials, at 2:17.97.
  • Senior Jessica Howard (Cumberland, Maine) finished second in 1-meter diving with 221.55 points, and was also runner-up at 3 meters with 211.80 points.
  • Sophomore Gabrielle Sergi (Newburyport, Mass.) placed second in the 100 free (55.15).
  • First-year Eleanor Briggs (Concord, Mass.) finished second in the 50 fly, at 28.25.

Bates hosts the Maine Event next Saturday at 1pm.

Link to Complete Results