Kenyon’s Jess Book: “We Ended Our Season As We Had Always Planned – Together”

“2020 Kenyon Most Epic Time Trial Ever!”

  • March 13th-14th, 2020
  • James A. Steen Aquatic Center, Gambier, Ohio
  • SCY (25y) format
  • Results on Meet Mobile – “Kenyon NCAA Invite – Corona 2020”

If there was any doubt that collegiate swimming and diving is a team sport, the actions of coaches and athletes around the country since learning of the cancellation of their championship season has proved the naysayers wrong. Exhibit 1 comes from Gambier, Ohio where Kenyon held a simulated NCAA Championship intrasquad event this weekend in their home pool. The meet was live-streamed on Kenyon’s Instagram channel, complete with commentary, post-race interviews, podium presentations, and awards.

Among the racing highlights, David Fitch broke the pool record in the 50 free while leading off the 200 free relay. He then swam the fastest-ever 100 fly (46.83) in the NCAA Division III, while Marcus Hong notched this year’s 7th-fastest (47.95) in a time trial. Hong also went a personal best time in the 100 back (49.04). The men’s 200 medley relay broke the pool record by .01 with a 1:27.53 by Fitch (21.89), Luis Weekes (24.97), Hong (20.67), and Tommy Weiss (20.00). Gail Anderson (500/1000/1650 specialist) and Emmie Mirus (50/100 specialist) went head-to-head in the 200, both going best times and finishing with 1/10 of each other:

Jess Book, the head coach of Kenyon’s men’s and women’s programs, summarized what made this event special:

It’s hard to put a wrap on our season, and it will take time to process this end.  As human beings we understand the necessities of this moment in time, and our responsibilities in this global health crisis.  However, as coaches and athletes we are left thinking about the things that could have been.  The races that were not swum, the times that were not achieved, and the barriers that were not broken.

This weekend we were given a chance by Kenyon College, and our administrators, to end our season on our own terms.  We had 36 hours to conceive of, organize, and execute “The Most Epic Time Trial Ever”.

Our meet was a tremendous success.  We swam primary events, secondary events, way-off events, relays, and did match races.  We swam under school records, pool records, dipped under one NCAA record, and set countless personal bests along the way.  But just as importantly, we had fun – together, as a team.  We created an atmosphere of excitement and engagement.  We had an over-the-top meet announcer, post-race awards on an awards podium, post-race interviews conducted by a member of the team, and an awards presentation at the meet’s conclusion where we gave out trophies and mementos.

We ended our season in a way we could have never envisioned.  But in another way, we ended it exactly as we had always planned:  Together.

Thank you Kenyon College for giving us this window to compete, thank you to our administrators for letting us create the best opportunity we could, thank you to our coaches for their creativity and passion over the past 48 hours, and – most importantly – thank you to our team.  You were great.

 

 

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UCswim
7 months ago

Really great to read!

Proud Kenyon swim alum
7 months ago

David Fitch** but yes shoutout my school. Love this team and these incredible coaches so much 💜

ThirteenthWind
7 months ago

Nothing like a little adversity to see what a team is really made of. Hats off to you all

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swim/swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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