The Hillsdale College women's swimming team made its 2015-16 debut in front of a nice home crowd Friday night, and the crowd and swimmers alike, went home happy.
The Chargers got a nice mix of strong performances from upperclassmen and freshmen in a 150-129 win over visiting Albion College at the Jack McAvoy Natatorium.
The freshman class has had a strong impact on many of Hillsdale's fall teams, and in the first event of the winter season, the freshmen swimmers had a similar positive impact.
Hillsdale got the win thanks to domination in a handful of events. The Chargers swept the top three spots in the 200 free, 50 breaststroke, 100 free and 100 breaststroke. Accumulating points at that pace helped make up for events in which the Britons did well.
On the older side of the roster, senior Zoe Hopkins, a two-year team captain, was victorious in two events, the 200 free (1:58.33) and the 500 free (5:17.69). Her win in the 500 free, her best event, was by an incredible 10 seconds over the second-place swmmer.
Junior Emily Shallman won three events, touching the wall first in the 100 yard IM, in 1:03.01, and also winning the 50 butterfly in 27.02 seconds. Her first place in the 100 free of 56.05 seconds capped her highest-scoring dual meet of her career.
Senior Jennifer Wheeler brougt home a first place in the 100 butterfly and a third-place in the 200 free.
On the freshman end of the scale, Anika Ellingson had a strong collegiate debut for the Chargers. She won the 50 yard breaststroke in 31.18 seconds, edging teammate Sarha Rinaldi by nearly a full second. She later recorded another win in the 100 breaststroke, in 1:07.55. Rinaldi was also the runner-up in that event, by .09 shy of two seconds.
Freshman Erla Sigurjonsdottir, a freshman from Iceland, scored key points in her Hillsdale debut. She won the 50 free in 26.01 seconds, and scored a key second place in the 100 IM behind Shallman.