MEDFORD, Mass. – The Tufts University women's swimming and diving team will begin its 2017-18 campaign this Saturday at home against the Coast Guard Academy.
|Colleen Doolan is a two-time national qualifier for the Jumbos|
"With nine seniors on the team we'll look for them to set the standard we expect for performance, attitude, and leadership," had coach Adam Hoyt said. "We have a large freshmen class that we hope will add to the team's depth."
Last season, the Jumbos sent two competitors to the NCAA Championships in Colleen Doolan and now-graduated Amanda Gottschalk. They qualified for the national stage in back-to-back season. Doolan was an All-American in the butterfly and school record holder in backstroke, freestyler, and IM events. At the championships last year, she competed in the 100 freestyle, 200 butterfly, and 100 butterfly. She set a personal record in the preliminaries of the 100 butterfly.
At the NESCAC Championship last season, the squad performed admirably. Grace Goetcheus placed 10th overall and broke a program-record in the preliminaries of the 200 backstroke. Doolan came in third in the finals of the 200 butterfly. Anna Kimura and Meghan Casey both competed in the 200 breaststroke. Doolan, Jess Lee, and Sydney Nasson were part of the 400 freestyle team that finished ninth overall.
The team will also be looking to see contributions from freshmen Rhys Empey and Sook-Hee Evans (freestyle), Sasha Fong (butterfly), Lily Kurtz (breaststroke), Amber Chong (diving), Jackie Crater (backstroke), and Abby Claus (backstroke, butterfly, and freestyle).
"With continued improvement from our current team members and the addition of strong freshmen classes," Hoyt said, "I think our team can compete with the best in the NESCAC and have the ability to qualify and compete with some of the best in the country."
The squad will be captained by seniors Alli Dorneo, Kimura and Jess Lee. In total, there are nine seniors, nine juniors, eight sophomores, and 15 freshmen. The coaching staff will look to get the team to bond together, both in and out of the pool, to create the needed chemistry in order to be successful.
"We spend time outside of the pool together for meals and other activities such as our learn to swim program (community swim lessons)," Hoyt said. "Through time together outside of the pool our teammates get to know each other personally, and time together in the pool brings them together athletically. When an athlete is pushed to their limit, breakthroughs only occur with the support of teammates and coaches."
After their opener against Coast Guard, the team will travel to Middlebury the following day. The first invitational of the season will be at MIT starting on Dec. 1. Next will be events at Wesleyan, Boston College, and at home against Wheaton. The final meet before championship season begins will be the Middlebury Invitational at the beginning of February.
"The key to our success as the team comes together each season, we strive to have a team that can celebrate each other's individual performances while also celebrating our team's performance," Hoyt said. "Everyone plays a role on our team and if everyone finds a way to contribute we'll have the best season possible."
Written by Curtis Stoychoff, Athletic Communications Intern