Using their depth to overcome a lack of first-place finishes, the Cardinals eked out close wins over Bates, 144-134, and Trinity, 145-133, to improve their domination over their NESCAC rivals Sat., Nov. 20, in the season opener. Mastering Bates for the ninth year in a row, Wesleyan advanced its win streak vs. Trinity to an impressive 29 consecutive years, dating back to 1982.
Of the 16 events in the competition, Wesleyan secured just four overall top prizes, those coming from Brendan Fortin '13 (photo upper right) in the 500 free and 200 IM, Momo Saleh '12 (photo upper left) in the 1000 free and Alex Brody '12 (bottom photo) in the 50 free. Still, Wesleyan bested Bates in seven events and Trinity in six events, but it was the slew of second- and third-place points which provided the Cardinals with their close margins of victory. Wesleyan's control of the breaststroke vs. Bates was integral in the team's victory over the Bobcats. Darren Thomason '11, Wes Fantini '13 and Thomas Cho '13 gave the Cardinals 1-2-3 vs. Bates in both the 100 and 200 breast, supplying Wesleyan with a 26-point edge from just two events. That compensated for a 16-point shortfall from the other 14 events.
Likewise against Trinity, Wesleyan neutralized the 10 first-place Bantams finishes by taking 2-3-4 behind the Bantam winner four times while also going 1-2 on four of the Cardinals' winning occasions. Trinity took the top two spots in a race only once.
Wesleyan was back in the water Mon., Nov. 22 with a trip to Little Three rival Amherst. The Lord Jeffs posted a 122-79 win. Brody had a quick 50 free, finishing just .12 behind the winner from Amherst.
Ahead for Wesleyan is the annual Cardinal Invitational Sat. and Sun., Dec. 4-5. With visiting teams Trinity, Hamilton, Clark and WPI along with Fairfield's diving squad, the Cardinal Invitational mimics the NESCAC Championship with its bredth of events.