WASHINGTON, D.C. – Gallaudet University swimming coach Bill Snape has been waiting for this year’s women’s team to break through with a big win and the Bison delivered Saturday at home against North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) rival Wells College. Gallaudet, the defending NEAC champions, won its first conference meet of the year with a 139-116 victory. The Bison (2-6, 1-1 NEAC) used their depth to overpower the Express (1-4, 0-2 NEAC) as GU won seven of the 14 events and earned nine second-place finishes.
Gallaudet started the meet with four straight second-place performances before it broke through with four straight first-place wins. A squad that lost a lot of seniors at the end of last year saw a handful of stars step up in today’s meet.
Freshman Tandy Lewis (Frederick, Md.) won the 50 and 100-yard freestyle in 28.98 seconds and 1:05.55, respectively. Her time in the 50 just beat out sophomore teammate Esther Drake (Springfield, Va.). Sophomore Valerie Farr (Fremont, Calif.) won the 100-yard breaststroke in 1 minute, 20.02 seconds and later placed second in the 200-yard breaststroke (2:57.75) and third in the 200-yard IM (2:50.08). Junior Tong Song (Beijing, China) won two individual events in the 200 breaststroke (2:55.50) and the 200 IM (2:40.89), edging out Farr in both events. Song was second in the 100 breaststroke (1:21.60). Fellow junior Brittany Turner (Palmdale, Calif.) had a solid meet as she won the 200-yard butterfly (3:19.70), 15 seconds faster than the second-place finisher, and took second in the 1,000-yard freestyle (14:40.07) and 100-yard butterfly (1:26.07). Turner edged out sophomore Alyssa Gleason (Springfield, Va.) in the 100 fly (1:29.61) while she took second in the 200-yard freestyle (2:34.56) and the 200-yard backstroke (2:53.93). Morgan Eastman (Tallahassee, Fla.) was second in the 100-yard backstroke (1:24.76).
The quartet of Eastman, Drake, Turner and Lewis won the 200-yard freestyle relay in 2:01.47, which was 18 seconds ahead of the second-place team from Wells. GU relay team of Song, Gleason, Lewis and Farr were second in the 200 medley relay (2:14.50), just three seconds behind the first-place team from Wells.
The Express swept the 500-yard freestyle en route to seven first-place performances. Olivia Touron won two events while teammates Idolyn Villiotti won two and was second in another. The pair was also on the first-place 200 medley relay team for the Express.
Gallaudet will step out of conference next week and will be tested in York, Pa., against former Capital Athletic Conference foe York (Pa.) College and Penn St.-Altoona on Friday, Dec. 9, at 6 p.m. This is the last meet of the semester for the Bison.