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SMC Swimming: Underclassmen helping lead the way for Belles

Eric Prister | Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Underclassmen have shined so far this year for Saint Mary’s, and freshmen Audrey Dalrymple and Eva Cavadini have led that movement.

The two have combined for 13 first-place finishes through six meets and have recorded impressive times throughout the year. But according to Belles coach Ran Dombkowski, neither swimmer has reached her full potential, which gives hope to the Belles for both this season and the next three years.

“Both of these two first year swimmers come in with times that would be at or near some NCAA qualifying standards,” Dombkowski said. “[They] have been getting used to the balance of college academics and athletics, but we are starting to figure out that balance a little.”

Dombkowski attributes Cavadini’s success to her excellent work ethic.

“Eva is probably one of the hardest workers on the team from the start until the finish of practice,” Dombkowski said. “She hasn’t been quite as fast as I think both she and I would like, but…once she settles into a little more comfort level with balancing her schedule…we’ll see some impressive time drops next semester.”

Times drops would be impressive for Cavadini, who has recorded seven first-place times so far this semester, in a combination of freestyle individual and relay events, along with two first-place finishes in the 200-yd butterfly.

Dalrymple has also put on a strong showing so far this season, with six first-place finishes, including two firsts in the 200-yd medley relay and two firsts in the 100-yd breaststroke.

Because of the timing of the Thanksgiving holiday, Dombkowski says, he hasn’t had a chance to rest his swimmers as much as he would like. Dalrymple’s strong performances, especially at the end of this semester, give the Belles coach hope of great things to come.

“Audrey’s performances [at the Carthage/TYR invitational] in the 100 and 200 breaststroke were both less than a second off our school records and just a couple of seconds from NCAA consideration,” Dombkowski said. “To be at those times at an unrested invite only halfway through the season is very encouraging. I look for big things from Audrey next semester.”

Dalrymple herself agrees with Dombkowski, believing that more success is still to come.

“Individually I am pleased where I am at so far this season, but I have set my goals high and will continue to work toward them,” she said.

The Belles will take a winter training trip to Florida over break, and will restart competition on Jan. 10. When that time comes, look for both Eva Cavadini and Audrey Dalrymple to be at the top of their game and ready to succeed.