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Swimming and diving impressive at home vs. Maine










LEWISTON, Maine -- The Bates men's swimming and diving team made the team scoring close to the end, and the Bates women's team competed tough as well, as the Bobcats played host to the University of Maine on Saturday at Tarbell Pool. The Black Bears came away 159-139 winners in the men's team tally, and 182-104 winners on the women's side.

"It was great to see we were much improved from our first weekend of competition," said Bates head coach Peter Casares. "It's always fun swimming the University of Maine, and we look forward to many more great meets like this in the future."

Junior Gabrielle Sergi's (Newburyport, Mass.) "breakout day," in the words of Casares, highlighted the Bates women's team's impressive performance against the Division I Black Bears. Sergi outswam Maine's Taylor Sharp by 0.56 seconds to win the 50-yard freestyle race in 24.69 seconds. But that wasn't all: Sergi then outswam Maine's Jen Trodden 54.12 to 55.08 to finish first again in the 100 free.

Other women's team highlights included:

  • First-year Whitney Paine (Moultonborough, N.H.) won the 100 back in 1:01.44 and took third place in the 200 back (2:16.02).
  • Sophomore Sarah Bouchard (Annapolis, Md.) ran a close second in the 1,000-yard freestyle race with a time of 10:58.91, setting the tone for a strong day for Bates' distance swimmers. Bouchard was also third in the 500 free at 5:29.42.
  • Junior Frances Yanover (Delmar, N.Y.) scored 195 points to finish second in 1-meter diving.

The Bates men started off the meet with a 0.6-second win over the Black Bears in the 200-yard medley relay, with first-year Ben Sommer (Evanston, Ill.), first-year Hikaru Asao (Cupertino, Calif.), junior Venkatesh Duvvuri (South Orange, N.J.) and senior Nick Karlson (Wayland, Mass.) timing in at 1:39.11.

Sophomore Alex Smachlo (Rexford, N.Y.) and senior captain Mike Hanley (Tolland, Conn.) then took second and third, respectively, in the 200 free, at 1:50.15 and 1:51.61.

The Bobcats then took second and third again in the 100 back, with Sommer and Duvvuri posting times of 56.44 and 57.81, respectively. Sommer was also third in the 200 back at 2:04.70.

Sophomore Andrew Briggs (York, Maine) kicked off his huge day with a win in the 100 breast, with a time of 1:01.21. Asao made it a 1-2 finish for the Bobcats, touching the wall in 1:02.65. Briggs went on to outswim Maine's Caleb Hoffman 2:16.04 to 2:17.32 in the 200 breast.

Sophomore Matthew Gagne (Winnetka, Ill.) won the 100 butterfly in 52.18, 2.20 seconds ahead of Maine's Eric Gaulin, after he came in second in the 200 fly at 1:59.02. Gagne then swam a close second to Maine's Ryan Fahey in the 200 IM, 2:00.95 to 2:01.04.

Sophomore Nathaniel Ainley (Los Angeles, Calif.) and Karlson went 1-2 in the 50 free, at 22.63 and 22.65, respectively. Karlson also finished second in the 100 free at 50.12.

Senior captain Travis Jones (Ithaca, N.Y.) scored 269.95 points in 1-meter diving to defeat Maine's Travis Wibby by 50.10 points. He then posted 274.55 points at 3 meters, 75.90 points ahead of Wibby.

The Bobcats finished off the meet with a 0.58-second win in the 200 free relay, with Ainley, Karlson, Asao and Gagne finishing in 1:29.01.

"I was very pleased with how well everyone competed today," said Casares. "They did a great job swimming and diving tough after a very difficult week of training -- and with their academic workload at its peak. The team really showed how talented Bates' student-athletes are at juggling both. I couldn't have been prouder."

Bates swimming and diving travels to Deerfield Beach, Fla., for its annual training trip from Dec. 27 through Jan. 3. Bates will return to New England to compete at Norwich University on Jan. 5.