Women take gold for six in a row


Mary Bretscher, head coach of the DePauw women's swimming team, said not one of her swimmers raced poorly at the DePauw Invitational last weekend, giving the Tigers the overall win with a total of 993 points.

"We didn't have any events go badly," Bretscher said.

This was the Tigers' sixth-straight invitational title and ninth in the history of the meet.

"It's basically our second biggest meet, the first being conference," said junior Kendall Quisenberry. "Our goal is always to win it."

Wittenberg University beat DePauw by six points in an earlier dual meet, but was second at the Invitational with 776.5 points. Illinois Wesleyan University followed with 459.5, followed by Transylvania College (345), Rhodes College (290), Millikin University (249), Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (178) and Franklin College (142).

"Going in, we knew it would be a close meet against Wittenberg," Bretscher said. "The diving points figured into [the dual meet against Wittenberg], and they didn't in this meet. We thought that would put us at a disadvantage."

Wittenberg's 200-yard freestyle relay opened the meet on Friday morning with a win in 1 minute, 38.48 seconds. Wittenberg was disqualified in the 400-yard medley, costing them 16 points.

DePauw freshman Emily Weber took first in the 500-yard freestyle in 5:12.65.

"Weber came in and had 100 percent personal bests in everything she swam," Bretscher said. "She was outstanding, which is so fun since she's a freshman."

Bretscher said many swimmers achieved their personal bests in their events, including seniors Gina Zerbini and Catie Baker. Baker posted an NCAA ‘B' cut time after winning the 100-yard breaststroke in 1:05.74. Her ‘B' cut time is a provisional cut that will allow Baker to be placed in the event after swimmers with ‘A' cuts.

DePauw's 800-yard freestyle relay of seniors Rachel Wheaton, Katie Morrison, Baker and junior Nicole Rossillo won in 7:58.53 before Wittenberg's 400-yard medley relay wrapped up the evening with a win in 3:58.87.

"We were up 40 points after the first night," Bretscher said. "In a meet like this, though, that's nothing."

The Tigers strengthened the tide for the second day, winning by over 200 points.

"The atmosphere was really fun because there were so many people there supporting us," Quisenberry said.

Bretscher said tapering before the invitational, but not fully resting, made them successful.

"Most of the other teams rest," Bretscher said. "We don't rest. We just swim less. We rest enough so they feel better and aren't sore, but we don't want to waste opportunities to prepare us for conference."

The team is focused on using the time between now and conference to snap back to reality and train hard with morning practices and weights.

"Winter Term is very intense for us," Bretscher said. "Winter Term is survival. It pays off because when second semester rolls around, we start tapering. We're able to work so hard during Winter Term that we get to take a full taper."