Saturday was a pleasing day of competition for the Engineers, who took to the water determined to defeat the only team that outswam them last season: the Bombers of Ithaca College. With minds set on a team sweep, they accomplished exactly that. RPI won in 25 of the 32 events held at Robison Pool, winning in two more events than their last mweet at Rochester Institute of Technology on October 17. At the close of the night, the men had earned 212 points over Ithaca’s 83, and the women had won 161-39. What made the upset all the more sweet was that the meet helped to raise awareness for breast cancer.
Repeat winners were in no short supply among both the men’s and women’s teams. The 200 individual medley, 100 breaststroke, and 200 breaststroke were all won by junior Richard Dong. Dong also teamed up with freshmen Mavin Liu and Noah Pan to win the 400 medley relay. Liu and Pan also struck on multiple occasions: Liu won the 200 and 100 butterflies, while Pan destroyed the 200 and 100 backstrokes.
Sophomore Shanny Lin was at it again for the women, enlarging their margin of victory over the Bombers with her individual wins in the 100 butterfly, 200 fly, and the 200 individual medley, and her four person team win in the 400 medley with freshman Amanda Wang, sophomore Jessica Sauve, and junior Siena Sara. RPI finished more than 10 seconds before Ithaca’s ‘A’ team hit the wall.
Sophomore Danielle Sauve went hard in the 1000 freestyle to come out 12 seconds ahead of Brenna Dowd from Ithaca. On the men’s side, Dan Hendricks overtook the lead right away to complete the men’s 1000 freestyle nearly 20 seconds before Ithaca’s top 1000 freestyler did.
Months of “grueling” practices are to thank for the positive outcomes of every meet so far this season, according to junior and women’s team co-captain Annika Lindstrom.
“Waking up every morning for 6 am practices and having to push through two practices a day is pretty difficult, almost impossible really without having the team to push you and support you through it,” said Lindstrom, who swam in three events at the meet: the 100 fly, 200 fly, and 400 medley. “RPI has done a great job of that. Every time anyone stumbles, whether it be in practice or out of it, there is always someone to pick them up. The team we have now is the best I’ve ever been on.”
Upcoming for the Engineers will be the New England Invitational this Saturday. Both teams are eager to maintain the momentum they’ve produced this season. The meet will be hosted by the Engineers of Worchester Polytechnic Institute and held at their home pool in Worchester, MA, at 1 pm. Last year at this meet, four Rensselaer swimmers obtained victories, five finished in second place, and six touched the wall in third place.