Swimming and Diving Takes on Atlantic-10 Championship

Both the men and women wrapped up their season last weekend. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

Both the men and women wrapped up their season last weekend. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

Last week, Fordham Swimming and Diving traveled to Geneva, Ohio for the Atlantic 10 Championship. The four day long event was filled with excitement and milestones from several Rams in both the men’s and women’s competitions.

The Fordham women came into Geneva with an undefeated record in team competition, sitting at a perfect 7-0. On day one of the championship on Wednesday, three events took place on the women’s side. In the 200 medley relay, the foursome of freshman Leire Martin, graduate student Becky Kamau, senior Kiara Norris and freshman Madeline Bergin took home fourth place for the Rams, finishing with a season-best time of 1:41.33.

In the one-meter dive, senior Natalie Ortof qualified for the championship final with a preliminary score of 252.40. She would ultimately finish eighth, while freshman Cai Flowers qualified for the consolation final, finishing 13th overall in the event.

The final event of day one was the women’s 800 freestyle relay, which was contested by senior Victoria Navarro, freshman Ainhoa Martin and juniors Alison Lin and Clare Culver. This group of Rams ultimately finished sixth, posting a season best-time mark of 7:24.93.

Fordham finished day one of the competition in sixth place with 71 points, sitting just one point behind the University of Massachusetts. George Washington University (GWU) sat comfortably in the lead with an impressive 104 points.

On days two and three, the Rams moved up the standings into fifth place following impressive individual performances from several swimmers. Martin led the way, first picking up a bronze medal in the 200 IM with a time of 2:00.47. Her most impressive performance came later, when she won the 400 IM with an A-10 meet and school record time of 4:13.27. Leire Martin joined her sister in the championship final, just missing out on the podium with a fourth place finish. 

Other quality finishes from the Rams on Thursday and Friday came from freshman Emilie Krog and Kamau, who took home bronze medals in the 500 freestyle and 100 breaststroke, respectively. 

After three days of competition, GW continued to lead the team competition with 486 points, while Duquesne trailed close behind in second and Richmond sat in third. 

On the final day of competition for the women, Fordham, pushed by more record-setting performances, again climbed up the standings to finish in fourth place overall. The first of these came from Culver, who won a silver medal in the 1650 freestyle with a time of 16:39.94, good enough for a new school record.

In the 200 breaststroke, Kamau won gold and broke her own school record set earlier in the year, finishing with a time of 2:12.05. Ainhoa just missed out on the podium in this event, finishing fourth.

GW asserted their dominance all weekend, winning the women’s competition by almost 200 points. The Rams finished fourth out of 11 teams with 416.5 points, just behind Richmond in third. 

Over to the men’s side, where the Rams entered the championship on Wednesday with a 5-3 record after an up-and-down regular season. On day one of the competition, the Rams saw early success in the relay events. Senior Spencer Clarke, sophomore Alex Wilhelm, freshman Vitalis Onu and freshman Daniel Langlois combined to finish third in the 800 freestyle relay with a school record time of 6:38.70. In the 200 medley relay, Clarke, Onu, freshman Nathan Nguyen and junior Nicholas Chao posted a season-best time of 1:31.46, finishing eighth.

Fordham finished day one in fifth place, while GW’s domination transitioned over to the men’s side as well, as the Colonials sat comfortably in first place.

The Rams unfortunately began to slide down the standings as the competition continued. On day two, a fourth place finish from Wilhelm was good enough for a new school record in the 200 IM at 1:47.21. The combination of freshman Stan Stevens, Chao, freshman Taz Kanjanakaset and Clarke posted a season-best time of 1:22.47 in the 200 freestyle relay, good enough for a seventh place finish.

Day three saw a few successes for the Rams. The 400 medley relay team, consisting of Wilhelm, Nguyen, Onu and freshman Alexander Shah, finished in sixth place with a season-best time of 3:19.59. Wilhelm’s successful weekend continued into the 100 backstroke, where he had a season best time of 49.25 and ultimately finished sixth.

Despite these positive finishes, the Rams entered the fourth and final day of competition in seventh place out of eight teams, with GW still leading the pack. On day four, the Rams were unable to climb anywhere in the standings, finishing the competition in seventh place despite a bronze medal finish in 400 freestyle relay, while GW impressively swept both the men’s and women’s competitions.