The William Smith College swimming and diving team entered the final event of its meet against the Rochester Institute of Technology trailing 115-110. The Herons needed to win the 200-yard freestyle relay to avoid a defeat on Senior Night.
Sophomore Samantha Burnett, senior Lauren Morosky, senior Amanda Woods, and first-year Cece Carsky-Bush touched the wall in 1:46.33, more than a second faster than the runner-up relay from RIT, to capture 11 first place points. Sophomore Leah Jacob, junior Sally Storch, sophomore Danielle Bagwin, and senior Kristine Faulknham placed third in the 200 free in 1:49.96 to grab the final two points, clinching the 123-119 victory and avoiding what could have been just the second tie in the history of William Smith swimming.
The Herons (5-2) opened the meet on a hot streak, winning the first three events. First-year Kate Mendez, senior Katie Stebbins, senior Heidi Gordon, and senior Casey Sherwin won the 200 medley relay in 1:58.14. William Smith also finished third to take a 13-4 lead after one event. First-year Sarah Litt captured the 1,000 free with a time of 11:24.29, more than 13 seconds faster than the second place finisher. In the 200 free, Sherwin posted a time of 2:04.56, to win by just 0.32 seconds.
The Tigers (4-2) came roaring back with six straight wins, including a pair of victories by Jill Sirkis in the 200 individual medley and the 100 butterfly. Sam Huselstein led a 1-2 sweep on the 1-meter diving board with a score of 214.2 and later won the 3-meter board, a 1-2-3 sweep for RIT.
Litt picked up her second victory in the 500 free, turning in a time of 5:31.95 and beating the second place finisher, RIT’s Caitlin Foster, by just 0.32 seconds.
After the Tigers’ 16-point effort on the 3-meter board, RIT enjoyed a 111-95 lead with just two events to go. William Smith set up its dramatic finish by securing 15 points in the 100 breaststroke. Gordon touched the wall first in 1:13.19, 0.14 seconds ahead of Stebbins. Junior GG Hedges was fourth in 1:23.49.
The Herons will be back in the water on Saturday, Jan. 26, when they race Wells and Cazenovia in Aurora, N.Y.