by Lauren Roth
The Roanoke College swimming team has only been a part of the athletic department for a little over four years now, with their transition back into the NCAA in the 2017-18 academic year. Their recent return to action has not deterred their success though, as each year this team excels at the ODAC championships. This year was no exception, as the men’s team finished 2nd and the women’s finished 4th. The ODAC Championships were held over four days at the Greensboro Aquatic Center. Washington & Lee finished 1st for both men’s and women’s, but Roanoke gave them a run for their money once again.
The women’s team saw quite an array of accomplishments. Susanna Price was the runner-up in the 1650 freestyle, the longest race of the competition, with a time of 17:47.66. For the 400 freestyle relay, Roanoke also grabbed the second-place spot with the team of Lily Mullens, Elizabeth Roberts, Maria Vinson, and Price. To round out the competition, Bailey Gallagher placed 3rd in the 200 backstroke for the Maroons with a time of 2:07.44. Gallagher’s performance was quite a shock for the teams as she was ranked sixth in the preliminary race, but she stepped up to get on the podium for the big event.
The men’s swim team also saw magnificent times and races during the championships. Ethan Brewer would go on to beat the ODAC record for the 1650 freestyle with a time of 16:21.88, the previous record being one of our Maroons, Josh Rauch, who held it at 16:23.58. Brewer finished 2nd in this event. In the 200 breaststroke, reigning ODAC champion Connor Kinkema finished 2nd with a time of 2:04.69. The time earned Kinkema an NCAA B Cut, which qualifies him for further NCAA competition. Ben Tate took the team even further as he won and set an ODAC record for the 500 freestyle with a time of 4:35.31 and won the 200 butterfly with a time of 1:53.06. Tate was a part of the 400 freestyle relay that placed second with a time of 3:07.77 along with teammates Mark Calvert, Brain Grimmett, and Xavier Williams. Williams also contributed to major points for the Maroons in his 3rd place finish in the 100 freestyle. Tate was named the 2022 ODAC men’s swimmer of the meet.
Another year of stellar performances for the Maroons leave the team with optimism heading into the fall 2022 season.