Huskies record 22 season-best times at BU Open

Huskies record 22 season-best times at BU Open
Third-year Sophie Tallier swims freestyle at the Boston University Open. / Photo by Sarah Schlesinger

By John Hagerty, deputy sports editor

The Northeastern women’s swimming and diving team competed at the unscored Boston University Open this weekend and swept the top three spots in both the 500-meter freestyle and 200 breaststroke. The Huskies posted 22 season-best times as a team between Friday and Saturday.

First-year Kristina Kirchoff placed first in the 200 breaststroke and 200 individual medley, with season-best times of 2:24.45 and 2:11.71 respectively.

The meet held special importance for the team, as it was the last competition for fourth-years Amit Palkovic and Anila Mehta, who will not compete at the CAA championships. The team was emotional after swimming with Palkovic and Mehta for the final time.

“It’s bittersweet,” second-year Sarah Schlesinger said. “We are such a close team that everyone is affected by the seniors leaving.”

Head coach Roy Coates was pleased with his team’s effort, singling out the fourth-years as swimming well.

“The people who finished up the year did great,” he said. “[Palkovic and Mehta] finished strong. They had great careers.”

The Huskies who will be participating at CAAs had a limited workload at BU, only swimming one event each, but Coates was pleased with how they competed.

“They actually swam remarkably well,” he said. “It’s a great omen, great preview of what championships can be.”

In the past two weeks the team has changed up their training, resting more as is customary before a championship meet.

The transition of reducing endurance and mileage is challenging for the student-athletes and takes them out of their normal routine.

“It’s very strange,” second-year Rachel Smith said. “We do so many practices during the rest of the season, and then to cut back on yardage you feel weird in the water and you’re always stressed that you’re not doing enough. But your body needs the rest and it helps your performance.”

Coates reiterated that while the rest is important, the team’s work ethic and training drives their success.

“If you work hard and then we rest you, then you’ll swim fast,” Coates said. “The magic is in the work but right now they are resting.”

The Huskies will compete this week at the CAA championships in Christiansburg, Virginia.

In terms of the team’s chances, Coates projected a middle-of-the-pack finish at CAAs.

“There will be some movement but we should finish somewhere between third and fifth,” Coates said. “The top two teams are pretty talented. The likelihood of us breaking into the top two is probably slim. The middle part, there could be huge movement.”

The team feels equal to the challenge of their longest and most important meet of the season.

“It’s four days of swimming,” Schlesinger said. “It’s a lot on your body, but we usually do a great job. We’re finally getting to everything that we have trained for so it’s definitely an exciting time.”

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