Joseph Villers, staff writer
On Saturday, Nov. 15, Warren Wilson swimmers competed against Berea College, a major rival of several years. Both schools are similar in size, both are work colleges, the biggest difference being number of hours worked (Berea’s work-weeks are 10 hours).
Wilson suited up with splashes of the ’80s: teal, pink, neon green and mustard yellow, while swimmers for Berea wore simple blue and black. Coach Andrew Pulsifer wore colorful boat shorts and carried a stopwatch at all times, it seemed. Family and friends of swimmers sat in folding chairs alongside the pool, occasionally getting splashed, incorporating a touch of Sea World.
The events are individual competitions and relays. The longest relay is 20 laps, where both men and women compete for the best overall time.
Peggy and Mulligan Burns drove from Baltimore to see Brenden Burns compete. “He’s my boy” said Peggy.
“The schools are about the same size and dedication, they’ve beaten each other equal ly in the past few years; they’re well-balanced teams,” Mulligan said.
There were several moments during the competition when everyone was on their feet – As the Burns said, the teams were well-balanced, and some events were extremely close. A Wilson swimmer, senior Kenny Hummel commented, “A second is a lot, and sometimes even a fraction of a second matters.”
Wilson showed dangerous consistency and made a comeback for Berea slowly more unrealistic.
Senior Colin Duke said of freshman Amelia Hubbard, “I’m always slower than the girls in practice – but she is just a tank.”
Hubbard dominated the field, shattering her second school record. Hubbard previously broke the women’s 200 fly record for Wilson, and on Nov. 15 achieved one minute, six seconds and 2/10 ofa second in the 100 yard fly. Senior Ben Gould also razed the competition.
“For the first time ever, I swam the 200 and I won it – a freestyle time of two minutes and 16 seconds,” Gould said.
A swimmer for Berea named Nathaniel Richardson with a vicious butterfly beat all the lanes in freestyle. He is an excellent all-round swimmer, who did a 20-second free. Pulsifer refered to him as “Contender par excellence, and just the waist to shoulder ratio on the guy is ridiculous.”
“I prefer relay, because I can see where everything is before I dive in. Starting out it is much more tempting to look over and see where you’re at,” Duke said. “Nothing makes me faster than the mind-game. I did 150 in a 200 and thought I was done– Everyone’s yelling at me ‘Go go go,’ so I cranked it out and heard my split there was even better than before. This is only my third year swimming competitively.”
There is a ten minute intermission halfway through the competition. Hummel passed by with a prepared quote, “We went in hard and we came out wet.”
During the intermission, Pulsifer commented that Berea still stood a chance of making a comeback.
“(Berea) always stands a chance,” Pulsifer said. “We’re only four events into an eleven event meet.”In the men’s one on one 100 meter Butterfly, Burns against Nathanial “The Equalizer” Richardson, the Equalizer won by a mile and a half.
Richardson, when asked how he got so bleeding fast, said, “Practice”.
In the next men’s freestyle event, Burns got 55 and 9/10seconds on 100.
“I beat the whole field there” he said.
And it’s true, Burns beats the competition by half a pool-length.
“It’s not about building muscle,” Burns said, “It’s about practice, practice, practice.”
Hip hop played in the corner between events, and a four-person fire troupe performed outside the glass door at intermission.
“I thought I’d bring some half-time entertainment,” Hummel said.
Next, men’s breast stroke, two swimmers. Wilson leads by five yards – sophomore John Bland in the lead, great at breast stroke, wins the match. Said Kenny Hummel of Bland, “He’s six-pack and chest hair.”
Next, women, two swimmers, freestyle relay. Wilson led at the start, and the lead continued to grow. In the sixth lap, Wilson fell behind. Next, it was the men’s freestyle relay. Hummel was behind by a hair, neck and neck, next was Bland, a super swimmer. Still, Wilson fell behind a yard or so. The deficit was grim. Burns was next, getting walloped by Nathaniel “the Equalizer” Richardson. Bananas, apples, oat bran and a cooler of Gatorade is there for the Wilson team.
One two three – GREAT JOB BEREA!
bum bum bum bum who do we appreciate? WILSON!
Final score – women’s meet 46 to 39, men 49 – 43 – Wilson wins!