BRYN MAWR, Pa. - The Bryn Mawr swimming team kicked off their 2016-17 campaign earlier Sunday afternoon with a meet against perennial Centennial Conference powerhouse Gettysburg. Despite going up against some stiff competition, the Owls put on some incredibly strong showings in their season-opener, including a brand new school record set by Varuna Jasodanand in her collegiate debut.
Jasodanand, a freshman from Mauritius, competed in three events on the day, with her most impressive performance coming in the 100 breaststroke. She jumped out with a strong first leg in the race, under a second out of first place through the opening lap. Jasodanand then posted the second-fastest second lap as well, coming home in a total time of 1:10.05. That was more than fast enough to shatter the previous school record in the event, set by Brenna Herpmann all the way back in 1992! Not only that, but that was also after swimming a grueling 200 yard IM that saw Jasodanand finish just .03 out of first place. The freshman posted a time of 2:17.82 in that event, which is also good enough to crack into the top-10 all-time at Bryn Mawr in that event as well. She opened her day by swimming a 31.82 split in her leg of the 200 yard medley relay to start the meet.
On the other end of the spectrum from the youth movement, senior captain Allegra Armstrong was a beast in the water for the Owls herself, as she swam in all three of the hardest events. Armstrong opened her day with the marathon 1000 yard freestyle, swimming that event in a time of 11:50.86. She then backed that up with a great season debut in the 200 yard IM, finishing in a time of 2:32.34. Armstrong would cap off her day with yet another yeomanlike performance in the 500 freestyle, swimming a 5:49.80 to take fifth place in that event.
Co-captain Ariane Marchis-Mouren also had a busy day for Bryn Mawr, as she swam three different events as well. Marchis-Mouren opened the day by swimming the third leg for the Owls' "A" relay team in the 200 medley, posting a split of 30.24 in her leg. She would follow that up with perhaps her best showing of the afternoon in the 100 fly. The senior swam a time of 1:09.06 in that event, a new personal best and good enough for fourth place on the day. Marchis-Mouren capped off her day by swimming the anchor leg in the 200 free relay for the Owls, posting the fastest time for the "A" team with a split of 28.02.
The Owls also got a strong effort out of Lillian Oyen-Ustad on the day. Swimming in three events herself, the sophomore was given the task of getting the Bryn Mawr campaign off to a good start by being the first one into the pool this year. Oyen-Ustad led off the Bryn Mawr "A" relay team in the 200 medley, and gave the Owls a great start in the event. She put Bryn Mawr out in front with the fastest first leg in the event, a 29.09. A few events later, Oyen-Ustad just missed out on a first place finish in the 50 free, coming in second with a time of 25.49. The sophomore would get her win just a few events later, as she took first in the 100 backstroke. She edged out the next-closest racer by over a full second in the event, posting a time of 1:02.78 to take the top spot.
The Owls will continue their early-season homestand next weekend as they get right back in action. The Owls will welcome Franklin & Marshall and Swarthmore to campus next Saturday for a meet between the three programs. Saturday's contest is slated to start at 1:00 PM in the Schwartz Natatorium.