NEW LONDON, Conn. -- The Bates women's swimming and diving team won five events, taking on both Wellesley College and NESCAC rival Connecticut College, while the Bates men won three events against the host Camels on Saturday.
The Bates women's team defeated Wellesley in team scoring, 183-111, and came within 10 points of the host Camels. Connecticut College defeated all opponents in the team scoring, defeating Bates' women by a slight 149-138 margin and outscoring Wellesley 175-105. On the men's side, the Camels performed impressively in a 205-75 win over Bates.
"The women's meet was the closest it has ever been," said Bates head coach Peter Casares. "Very exciting to see the meet come down to the last relay. We showed we are in a great position to do well at conferences and have our depth show off a bit."
First-year standout Julia Smachlo (Rexford, N.Y.) won the 1,000-yard freestyle with a time of 10:34.51, second-fastest in team history and less than two seconds from Tara Dugan's team record of 10:32.74. Smachlo also placed a close second in the 500 free in 5:10.49, less than two seconds behind Connecticut College's Emma Rotner.
First-year Sara Daher (Marblehead, Mass.) won the 400-yard individual medley in 4:35.92, more than six seconds ahead of runner-up Valerie Urban. Daher's time ranks third in team history.
Sophomore Melissa Paione (Auburn, Maine) was victorious in the 200-yard breaststroke, finishing the race in 2:28.77, 3.23 seconds ahead of the Camels' runner-up Anna Peterson.
First-year Emma Jarczyk (Sudbury, Mass.) was first of three competitors in women's 1-meter diving, with 250.80 points. Jarczyk also won the 3-meter diving with 272.85 points, her second national-consideration performance of the year.
Winners for the Bates men's team included junior Andrew Briggs (York, Maine), who touched the wall first in the 100-yard breaststroke, outpacing Connecticut College junior Cam Johnson 1:00.13 to 1:00.43. The Bates men's team's other event winner was first-year diver Joseph Tocci (Belmont, Mass.), who dived uncontested at 1 meter (156.65 points) and 3 meters (197.55).
"On the men's side we saw a very lopsided loss, but there were some good swims along the way," said Casares. "The team actually swam smart races and were tough in every event.... we just saw how far ahead Conn is right now, and how much work we have to do to catch up."
Bates hosts "The Maine Event" next Saturday at 1pm as a final tuneup before the NESCAC Championships. Women's NESCACs take place Feb. 14-16 at Williams Collegek and the men's championship meet is Feb. 21-23 at Bowdoin.